The pandemic is triggering opioid relapses across Appalachia

Rebecca Kiessling is a mother in mourning after three teens were found dead in an Auburn Hills hotel room on Wednesday.

Two of the teens were brothers and the sons of Kiessling.

“I just screamed,” said Kiessling. “Both? Both?”

While it’s not clear what lead up to the deaths, opioid overdoses are on the rise all over the state.

The MDHHS released numbers this week that say from April to June, overdoses from opioids were up 26 percent from last year.

“The numbers are still going up and I think COVID has definitely impacted that,” said Olivia Krish with Families Against Narcotics.

Krish is a coordinator with the program and says the growing trend could be ripple effects from the pandemic.

“People are at higher risk for using again just for that escape of that kind of stress, that kind of pressure and uncertainty,” said Krish.

Krish said they are working around the clock to get people the help they need.

She said removing the stigma behind addiction and getting treatment is key to saving more lives.

“I think some people think addiction is a choice and kind of blame that person, but it’s so much more complicated than that,” said Krish.

“I did everything I was supposed to do to stop this,” said Kiessling.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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