Call for people to come together to fight opioid addiction - WNEM TV 5

Call for people to come together to fight opioid addiction

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

“There’s a statistic out there that only one in five heroin addicts ever recover,” said Taylor Deangelis.

Taylor, 23, is that one in five. Now two years sober, she is speaking out about opioid addiction.

Taylor was a guest speaker at “Building a Bridge”, an opioid summit in Flint.

There she described where her addiction began.

“I just kind of fell in with the wrong crowd, the partiers. I just started smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol, that turned into every weekend and then I actually grew a pill addiction in high school.”

From there, Taylor said she overdosed on heroin and relapsed two times before finally getting clean.

And she’s not alone.

With a rapid increase in opioid addiction in Michigan, Building a Bridge aims to combat those addictions before they begin.

Rick Paige, CEO of Meridian Health Services, was also a guest speaker at the summit and said education about prevention is one of the most important keys to fighting the opioid epidemic.

“One of the major problems right now that we have with addiction is the stigma associated with it. People don’t want to talk about it, people don’t want to address it,” Paige said.

But he said it’s the only way to move forward.

“What most people really don’t understand is that addiction, like kidney disease, like heart disease, is a disease.”

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley spoke on the importance of coming together as a community to fight that disease.

“It’s about putting people together, working together in order to make a difference. To get ahead of this, to literally save people’s lives.”

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