Community Fights Surge In Heroin, Opiates

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A community fights back after a surge in drug overdose deaths.  

Jody Demo-Hodgins, the executive director of Marion County’s Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services says 16 people in the county died from heroin and opiate overdoses last year.  

She says, for every person who dies, there are 800 people in need.

These are very personal losses for the loved ones left behind.

Bethani Temple, 28, enjoys motherhood now, but for 10 years of her life, she admits she was hooked on heroin, even while pregnant.

“I didn't have a place to live. I lost my car. I lost my kid,” says Temple. “I would take anything and everything worth value from anybody and then I would pawn it, sell it, trade it to get what I needed to get me thru the day.”

Bethani says she hit rock bottom, while in jail, after being forced to look at her daughter through a glass window.  She says she's been clean ever since.

For every story of triumph, there are tragic ones in Marion.

Elizabeth Carey says her twin sister, Chrystina, never reached that point.

“If you can’t stop nine months for your child, then… what's left?  The answer was death. And that's what happened,” says Carey.

She says the mother of two died just days before their 31st birthday this year.

“I remember when she was pure and <chokes up> how much of a good person she was,” says Carey.

The treatment authority, in Marion County, says it's important to remember opiates, like heroin, are highly addictive.

They say the relapse rate is 90 percent without medication treatment. So, that's why they say a treatment program to come off of heroin or any other kind of opiate is needed.

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