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Community members share stories of addiction, hope in face of heroin epidemic

Jami Engle knows first-hand how quick and easy it is to become addicted to opioids."It ended up spiraling out ...

Posted: Jan. 24, 2018 7:19 PM
Updated: Jan. 24, 2018 7:19 PM

Jami Engle knows first-hand how quick and easy it is to become addicted to opioids.

"It ended up spiraling out of control to the point where I couldn't not have something to keep my body from functioning or I would get violently sick," said Engle.

She's in intensive outpatient rehab now, but says she got hooked on Percocet after a surgery in 2013.

Engle says she went to Tuesday's meeting centered around fighting heroin to share her story in hopes of saving a life.

"It's important that people learn that this isn't something that you should be ashamed of," said Engle.

According to the CDC, Ohio has the second highest rate of overdose deaths in the country.

This week alone, Ottawa County issued an overdose advisory after five overdoses in the last seven days. Three of those ended in death.

"We need to understand, first of all, how addicting they are and we need to get rid of those medications," said Kathy Schnapp of Harbor Behavioral Health.

Schnapp helps teach classes like the one held at the Washington Branch Library.

She says addictive prescription meds play a big role in people getting started on opioids in the first place.

"You don't need to take the whole prescription bottle in order to ease the pain of a surgery," said Schnapp. "Misusing medications like that can lead to addiction which can lead to overdose or heroin abuse."

It's something that Engle knows all too well. She hopes others come to meetings like Tuesday's so they can help fight back against an issue that has such a tight grip on our community.

"Don't be afraid to ask for help and it's your life and it's worth living," said Engle.

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