I lost a sister and a brother to opioid addiction. I nearly lost my own life, too.



For me, it was OxyContin then heroin. It turns out that this is a common trajectory. In the United States, 72,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2017, nearly 50,000 of those from opioids. Imagine an entire football stadium full of people obliterated.

I first abused opioids about the time I turned 18 years old. I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which, simply put, is the drunkest city in the nation, and I was pretty young when I started drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. But when I first snorted Oxy, it was a high of another level.

Later, we started doing heroin simply because it was easier for us to get. What I soon found out is that while people who do drugs can have somewhat normal lives, many people who do heroin just do heroin. By the time you realize that something is terribly wrong, it’s too late, your mind and your body are hooked.

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