JACKSON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) — The Drug-Free Jackson Summit took place Wednesday, and people in recovery as well as law enforcement came together to provide resources regarding addiction to the community.
“I thought my life was gonna end due to my addiction, and I actually got a new life,” said Francis Meade, a resident of Andy’s House who has been sober for more than a year.
Francis’ experience was one of many shared at the summit.
Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jerry Jarzynka said that fentanyl plays a role in the “vast majority” of overdose deaths.
The summit’s seventh annual event is a free resource to the local community.
“The opposite of addiction is connection,” said Nikole Green, a recovery coach at Home of the New Vision. “So being engaged with your recovery community is very important.”
Francis Meade now lives in recovery housing, but she struggled with addiction for 10 years.
“I never graduated high school,” continued Meade. “I ended up trying more drugs and ended up getting addicted to heroin, and meth, and just kept going downhill.”
Law officials say heroin use and distribution is an epidemic in Jackson, and that the heroin oftentimes contains fentanyl.
Jarzyka said he’s glad 85% of Wednesday’s attendees were teenagers.
“It’s important that they hear some good information about it. The dangers of fentanyl. Where you can see it, how it can be put into fake pills,” continued Jarzynka. “I think that’s all good because then they can talk to their peers.”