TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Molly is 24-years-old. She is articulate, has a big smile and was in college. She is also a recovering heroin addict.
“I was using every day. I got sick without it and I would do anything to get it,” said Molly, who asked that we not use her last name.
She is now on her last day of a drug treatment program at Turning Point of Tampa.
“I kind of thought of myself, I was like a low-life junkie now because I was using,” said Molly.
She says the treatment program is helping her.
“It’s definitely helping, more than I could like, ever imagine,” said Molly.
A commission is calling on President Trump to declare the opioid crisis a national health emergency.
Every day, more than 140 Americans die from a drug overdose.
Robin Piper with Turning Point of Tampa points out that Molly may not look like the face of heroin addiction to many people, and that’s why many people may not be aware of the crisis.
“I believe that the opioid crisis is an epidemic. The Presidential Commission’s declaration of the opioid crisis as a national health emergency can help if Federal dollars are put in the right place, and I feel strongly that the right place is substance abuse treatment. As the young woman in the news segment said, anyone can struggle with addiction. She started with Adderall and pain pills in college and progressed to heroin. As quoted by Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General, who also sits on the Presidential Commission, over 11 million Americans are misusing opioids and nearly 2 million say they are addicted. As CEO and Clinical Director of Turning Point of Tampa, my mission is to decrease those numbers by recognizing the need for good quality substance abuse treatment as we encourage our families and loved ones to seek help before they become another statistic.
I think a lot of families out there may have addicted loved ones and they just don’t know or they don’t know how bad it is,” said Piper.
Declaring the opioid crisis as a national health emergency could help bring federal dollars to treatment centers like Turning Point.
“I think federal funding will help, depending on where they put the money. I think people need treatment and they need good treatment,” said Piper.
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