Commissioners hold meeting on opioid epidemic - WNEM TV 5

Commissioners hold meeting on opioid epidemic

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Genesee County commissioners held a town hall meeting Wednesday night to educate the community on the opioid epidemic.

"Towards the end of my active addiction I didn't want to make it out," said Steven Bauman, recovering addict.

His addiction started at the doctor's office.

"I was injured and I was prescribed Vicodin," Bauman said. "That led to full blown addiction into opioids and I started committing crimes."

After multiple arrests and drug court Bauman is in recovery. He has been clean for one and a half years.

He told his story at Wednesday night's town hall meeting on the opioid epidemic. It was an effort by the Genesee County Board of Commissioners aimed at educating the community after the release of some disheartening numbers.

"We have three times the number of cases coming into our hospitals, into our jails. Three times more. So we're at a large percentage of abusers," said Brenda Clack, commissioner.

Three times more pain and grief people feel after losing their loved ones to opioid addiction. It is something Bauman knows all too well.

"There's a lot of people dying out there. I've had quite a few friends actually that have passed away from it," Bauman said.

He said his addiction to opioids robbed him of his family, his friends and his job. Now he is winning the fight and he wants others to know they can win too.

"You have to get treatment. You gotta invest some time in yourself. Start by reaching out for help to somebody," Bauman said.

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