Recovery advocate: stimulus checks, unemployment contribute to spike in drug overdoses
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Stress is something most people have encountered in one way or another, especially this year because of the pandemic. Unemployment has been a huge factor with millions of people out of a job. But Uncle Sam came to the rescue.
“So people we’re taking that money, and they had large chunks of money, which people who are early in recovery or who aren’t in recovery at all, when they get a large chunk of money, the first thing that you do is you go and spend it on drugs,” said Tara Moreno-Wallen, Serenity House of Flint executive director.
Moreno Wallen said addiction then takes hold, and quickly. She has been in recovery herself for over a decade.
“A lot of what happens to people is inter-generational. It’s partly not your fault that you have these maladies,” she said.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, EMS responses for opioid overdoses increased 33 percent from April to May this year. Overdose responses were also up 26 percent between April and June compared to last year. But Moreno-Wallen said there’s help and hope for people.
“The wild thing about recovery is that you take the substances out, and you’re left with yourself and you realize that really the substances were just a symptom of a deeper issue,” she added.
A deeper issue she says that needs to come to the surface. It takes a little work and discomfort to get there, but what you get in return?
“What is possible for your life, It’s just endless possibilities.”
Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.