Fighting Opioid Use and Abuse in Macoupin County
Macoupin County has had a spike in deaths due to opioid abuse.
Senator Andy Manar joined local officials Wednesday in asking people the community to help fight prescription drug abuse.
Matt Witkos shares the current condition of Macoupin County’s opioid situation.
Recent numbers show Macoupin County Sheriff's Office saw 11 people die of fatal drug overdose, 10 of which, were from prescription opioids.
A local state leader said a little cleaning around your house could reduce that number.
“I denied, denied, denied it, forever,” said Michael Flowers.
When Flowers was in eighth grade he was prescribed OxyContin after surgery to correct an issue he was having with his heart.
He said this lead to him abusing the drug and eventually switching to heroin.
“I still had all those pills and it was the cool thing to do and I started taking them. Before I knew it I couldn't function without them and I was just taking it to be normal,” said Flowers.
Democratic Senator, Andy Manar, along with law enforcement around Macoupin County are looking to combat the opioid abuse.
2016's number of deaths nearly doubled 2015's in this southern part of Illinois
“Clean out your medicine cabinet, nightstand, find over the counter medication prescription drugs that are unneeded that are unused and are certainly expired,” said Senator Manar.
He announced a drug take back for April 29 to battle prescription drug abuse.
“We're going to have a new population of orphans if we don't do something to stop this,” Maple Street Clinic Chief Operating Officer , Angela Weidner, said.
Flowers' said him and his ex-wife's battle with addiction cost them both to lose custody of their son.
“I was taking them like 10-15 pills a day and I didn't feel anything, but they were like $20-$30 apiece and heroin was only $5 apiece,” said Flowers.
Almost a year later and with the help of Maple Street Clinic, Flowers' life is back on track.
He now has a job with Amazon and is closer to gaining custody of his 9-year-old boy.
“I worked very hard for it, very hard,” he added.
People can drop off their old medication at any Michelle or Sullivan pharmacy locations with no questions asked.