Opinion: Heroin Anonymous is set to save lives

Brandon Bounds

Editor’s Note: Two women in this opinion piece asked to remain anonymous. “Stacy” is not the woman’s real name, and the other is identified as the “61-year-old” woman to keep their identities private. 

If it wasn’t for Heroin Anonymous, Stacy wouldn’t have a job.

If it wasn’t for Heroin Anonymous, she wouldn’t have support from her family and friends.

If Stacy didn’t turn to Heroin Anonymous, she would be dead on the streets today.

Similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous is a support group for recovering heroin addicts. They support each other through recovery programs, professional advice and insight and fellowship.

Stacy was tired of the drug life. According to her, finding ways to get high was just as exhausting as working a full time job.

Heroin addiction was like crossing over to the dark side. Nothing mattered any more.

You lose your friends. Then, it’s your job. Your family. Your sense of reality. Your humanity. You lose everything.

But all of that didn’t matter to her. Getting high was the only purpose in her life at that moment.

Once Stacy got high, that was it. She had no more reason to live. She openly accepted death in the face.

Amidst the darkness of her addiction, she heard a faint voice. A voice telling her to stop it and seek help. Enough is enough.

That voice was her sense of reason. It was the humanity she buried underneath endless doses of heroin.

She rejected the voice in her mind several times until she realized it was the only thing that could save her from destruction.

She walked towards that light step-by-step and since then, she has never turned back.

Stacy now has an apartment in her name, a car to call her own, a full-time job to support herself, and people to help her on her journey to recovery.

She admits sobriety isn’t easy. You go through withdrawals, contemplate about getting high again and even thoughts of suicide.

Stacy lost all of that once, and she couldn’t afford it to lose it all again.

A 61-year-old woman went through the same experience as Stacy. Today, she grins and smiles everyday.

The woman said she feels like a kid every day because each day is a new experience for her.  Being able to interact with the world as a functioning citizen in society was the greatest gift she could ever get back.

These two women couldn’t live the lives they do now if it wasn’t for Heroin Anonymous.

As the heroin and opioid epidemic continues to affect those around us, people want to do what they can to end it.

Truth be told, the epidemic can’t be stopped in a day. However, little steps are being taken to lessen the crisis in Ohio.

Ohio sued five major drug companies for fueling the opioid crisis. Penalties are increasing for trafficking fentanyl. Start Talking!, an initiative to educate youths about the importance of living drug-free lives, is being expanded to more local school districts.

Heroin Anonymous has and is becoming a vital resource for recovering addicts.

The program has potential to save lives, but it needs more exposure.

For us to truly support people combatting addiction, proper networks are necessary and spreading word about this organization is an easy way to do so.

Brandon Bounds is the enterprise reporter for TV2. Contact him at [email protected].