IMAGE: Opioid awareness night

A community in Bay County used a high school football game to try and raise awareness about the opioid epidemic.

"It's this giant monster that takes over a person's life," said Lisa Treiber.

Photos were displayed. Each one was a Bay City Western graduate who died from opioids.

"It can happen to anybody," Mark Treiber added.

Like Mark and Lisa’s son Andy.

"He had a crazy sense of humor. He was athletic, loyal to his family, just a great kid,” Lisa said. "We didn't know it had taken over Andy's life for a very long time."

Andy died in October 2016 from opioid use. In 2008, he had played football for Bay City Western.

Fast forward to now, his parents are working to spread awareness about opioid addiction.

"We can bury our heads in the sand and not say anything and watch young people continue to die. Or we can talk about it openly and work on solutions," Mark said.

Neighbors Against Drug Abuse set up this display and offered information and resources to those in need.

"Instead of making them come to us, we're going to them,” said Barry Schmidt from the Bay County Prevention Network. “Because we know the only way to get people involved sometimes is just to let them know. And have a call of action with them and let them it's an imperative thing and they can make a difference."

Another way of spreading awareness is a powerful display of t-shirts that's been hanging all week. Each of the many t-shirts represents 3,200 people who've been affected by the opioid crisis.

"We want people to know they're not alone," Lisa said.

In the fight against this monster. Opioids.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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