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Recovering addict uses personal story to help others fight opioid addiction

person shaking prescription pills from bottle into hand
User: frankileon
Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Kristy Kopec says she didn't know it at the time, but "it was all over with" the first time she took opiates.

Michigan has a fierce fight on its hands. A fight to keep people out of the clutches of opioid and heroin addiction. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers some stunning numbers that show how badly this fight is going. 

In 1999 there were 99 heroin or opioid overdose deaths. In 2014, that number climbed to 1,001. 

That's 10 times as many deaths in just 15 years.

Kristy Kopec? is a recovering opioid addict and a member of Peer 360, an organization of people in recovery. These days she works as a recovery coach with Victory Clinical Services, helping to keep others on the path to recovery. 

Kopec spoke with us on Statesie about her own experience with opioids, and why it's hard for those struggling with addiction to set out on the road to recovery.

Minding Michigan is Stateside’s ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state.

*This interview was originally broadcast on Sept. 6, 2016.

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