Getting hooked on opioids can be a lifetime of darkness

"It's like holding your breath and not being able to breathe."

We always hear about the opioid epidemic and how it effects every community in northeast Wisconsin, today we talked with a recovering addict to learn more about what an addict goes through when being hooked on drugs.

Ryan Beltz started experimenting with drugs recreationally when he was a teenager in Manitowoc and like many other along the Lakeshore community drugs became a way of life.

He called it opening Pandora's Box and explained that he would use on a rough day because it would make him feel better, however he would also use after a great day as a way to celebrate.

"All of a sudden it gets to a point where your life is so dark, there is no light, no hope," said Beltz. "People ask are you afraid you are going to overdose? With overdoses it's not a fear to the person who is struggling with addiction it is a goal because then it will be over, the struggle would be over."

Beltz explained that it's a lifelong battle and said the addiction is doing pushups in his head beckoning for a chance to come back during the smallest of relapses.

For those that aren't lucky enough to get treatment or go to a rehab facility, Beltz said that death is a real possibility for those dealing with opioid and other drug addictions.

"I've lost probably 14-17 people to drug overdoses and another eight to suicide," said Beltz.

He said that he'd like to see the community come together to help those that need help and that anyone can be a mentor to another person, he said it's a conversation that needs to be had because anybody can be effected by opioids.


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