COLUMBUS (WCMH)–Overdose deaths are on the rise here in Franklin County compared to this time last year.
The Franklin County Coroner took a preliminary look at the first six months of 2020 and explained that results show 65 percent more people died from overdoses than in 2019. The Centers for Disease Control sites that 128 people die daily in the United States from drug overdose.
That is leading to concerns that the pandemic is overshadowing the opioid epidemic here in Ohio. People like Tonya Free have been going through recovery during the pandemic and the statewide shutdown. She hinted that she is making huge progress, but staying sober is not easy.
Drug prevention and recovery resources:
“It’s very heartbreaking, and I myself have been to many, many funerals, and it’s so sad because the help is there,” said Free.
Free described her addiction cycle beginning at the age of 14. She would sneak and drink her parent’s alcohol. At the age of 30, opioids and cocaine took over her life. She could no longer hold a job, and lost custody of her children because she could not function.
“At this point I had had all I could take,” said “I knew that was not a life I wanted to live.”
She shared her story because she wants other people battling addiction to know there is hope. Free said she has been clean since the end of 2019, and now she sees the light at the end of the tunnel.