The opioid crisis is affecting individuals, families and entire communities. FOX 11’s Robert Hornacek recently sat down to have an in-depth conversation with people who have seen the impact of the problem up close.
Full Video Interview (WATCH HERE) -WLUK
“I started using substances, opioids specifically, by the time I was 16, 17 years old,” said Nadine Machkovech during a special Your Voice Your Future town hall roundtable discussion.
Machkovech shared her experience with opioid addiction, which started with prescription pills.
“The first time I tried it, it just immediately had this reaction of I wanted more of it,” she said.
“Did it just escalate from there?” Hornacek asked.
“It did. It escalated quickly. Not only was I using and abusing prescription pills, which quickly led to intravenous use, which led to heroin use shortly after that,” she said.
Machkovech said things quickly got worse.
“After high school is when things got completely out of control,” she said. “I lost my job. I didn’t have a place to live. I was burning bridges with everybody in my life whether it was family members or friends. At that point in my life, I was ready to give up.”
“It’s a huge domino effect and a lot of devastation,” substance abuse counselor Tina Marie Baeten said during the roundtable. “There’s nothing real positive that’s coming from the actual use.”
Baeten said opioids are harder to stop using than other drugs.
“There’s a more rapid progression in part because I think the withdrawal is so significant,” she said. “A huge gap in service is the need for a medically monitored detox, which we don’t have.”
“This could happen to anybody. Don’t get yourself going down this path,” Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith said during the roundtable.
Smith said law enforcement is still focusing on people who sell deadly drugs, but there has been a shift in dealing with users.
“If they’re dealers, if they’re shipping drugs here, we want to catch them. We’ll do everything to catch them,” Smith said. “But we recognize that people in addicted situations need help to get out of that.”
Machkovech got the help she needed. Now she’s trying to give others hope.
“No matter what you’re going through, or what you’re struggling with, recovery is possible,” she said.
One conversation obviously won’t solve this crisis, but we hope this is just the beginning and people will share their stories and share their hope with one another to help people who are struggling right now.
Watch “The N.E.W. Addiction — A FOX 11 Town Hall Roundtable Discussion” at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.