The second of four Opioid Town Hall Meetings taking across Grey Brue was held last night in Hanover.
Powerful personal testimonies backed by local statistics left attendees with a sobering understanding of what the Grey Bruce opioid epidemic really looks like.
For Rebecca Morris- Miller it was losing her kids, her home and for a time her freedom (jail) until she was finally able to escape the hold opioids had over her.
Morris- Miller who originally hails from Owen Sound says this is an epidemic you can't fight from the outside.
Instead she says all of the service workers and community members need to come together and meet people where they are at.
Morris-Miller says the best strategy is to convey to those addicted to opioids that their lives matter and that help is available.
Morris-Miller does just that, she now helps run Grenfell Ministries out of Hamilton an outreach program for those struggling with narcotic addictions who were formerly incarcerated.
Corey Phair of Wiarton also shared his opioid struggle with the fifty in attendance.
His prescription drug addiction stemmed from chronic back pain from an injury while serving in the military coupled with mental health issues and bouts of depression.
His journey to recovery has inspired him to reach out to others, share his story and spread the message that addiction can happen to anyone.
Phair says the stigma of drug addiction is something the general public needs to get over.
The sooner we can view those with a narcotic addiction as someone suffering from a chronic illness, he says the sooner we will be able to break the stigma making it easier for those struggling to come forth for help.
Public Health Harm Reduction Manger Ian Reich adds it's important for us to share the truths about drug use, addiction and the challenges associated with it.
He says we need to ensure the public is aware that addiction is a health issue, and as such, a health lens must be applied to aid in the situation.
There are two more Opioid Town Hall Meetings to go: the next is October 22nd at Peninsula Shores District School in Wiarton.
The fourth and final one will take place at Northport elementary School in Port Elgin on October 29th, all are welcomed.
Each forum includes personal testimonies, up-to-date information on the local opioid situation as well as break out sessions with Police, EMS, Public Health and Mental Health and Addiction Services.