Drug addiction is a problem that has been existing for quite a long time now. The sad thing is we are not seeing any signs that this will be stopping soon. In fact, it seems to be getting worse each day and the number of those who are using drugs keep on increasing. This has led the government and many private sectors to come with solutions that help people quit the addiction and encourage others not to ever do drugs.
The challenge, however, is what happens after having the treatment or detox. Does it mean that the problem ends there? Or is there another challenge that these people have to face? Whatever it is, the most important thing is the courage that people take to get out of drug addiction. This is the first step to changing and starting anew.
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Like many states, Illinois is battling an opioid epidemic. Loran Owens, who lives in Franklin county in Southern Illinois, knows what the epidemic is like first-hand.
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“My brother, [when] I was in jail, my brother got arrested and he was in there about four months,” Owens said. “And he shot up heroin, more or less. It was OxyContin and stuff … and while he was in there, he was trying to get help. He was wanting to go to rehab when he left there.”
But Owens brother didn’t get into a rehab program. Owens says he didn’t even make it two days after he was released, and was found dead behind a tire store after an overdose.
“People are dying left and right.”
Owens spent 20 years in and out of prison thanks to addiction. He’s clean now, but he says the lack of resources leads to many people staying addicted or overdosing. During his time in and out of jail he says he saw the same people over and over – and now that he’s out, he’s fielding phone calls from people who want to get clean.
“People looking for help all the time,” he says. “I can’t help ’em.”
The first step is getting off the drug. Withdrawal symptoms from opioids can last for up to a month. A detox facility can help – but only if there’s a bed available. Owens recalls asking his probation officer about getting into rehab at one point, only to be told it would be four months before he could get into treatment. He never got into that facility – he was arrested and landed in jail instead.