Spreading Hope-idemic to the drug problem in Utah

September is Naitonal Addiction Awareness Month

BLUFFDALE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) -- September is National Addiction Awareness Month and on Tuesday drug treatment centers shared the message of hope to try and curb the epidemic. 

Opiod abuse is the number one killer in Utah. Attorney General Sean Reyes gave his thoughts and prayers to those fighting the Uintah fires and to the victims of Harvey. He added that we are all fighting another kind of battle at home.

"There's a different kind of fire raging in our community and a natural kind of disaster in the nation and here in Utah," said Attorney General Sean Reyes. 

While the opioid epidemic has devastated families, today was about healing and bringing hope.

Alema Harrington, Recovering addict, "We're aware there is a problem, there is a solution that's how the Hope-idemic campaign was born," said Alema Harrington, recovering addict. 

Utah Jazz pre and post game host Alema Harrington has been outspoken on the cause. His heroin addiction and recovery has been well documented. He spoke Tuesday at the Renaissance Ranch, a drug rehab center in Bluffdale.

"Sometimes we forget that there is a solution out there and there is recovery happening and recovery is very real," said Harrington.

At the beginning of the year, the Utah Health Department launched the Opi-demic campaign and highlighted the dire need to change the tide of the drug addiction problem in Utah.

The Beehive State sees, on average, 6 deaths a week or 23 fatalities a month because of drug overdoses and most start with prescription drugs.

"If there is one silver lining to all of this destruction and pain, it is now affecting so many people. It's affecting soccer moms and business dads and all different backgrounds that finally the community is waking up and realizing no one is immune to the threat of addiction," said Reyes. 

The message of help and the Hope-idemic is one recovering addicts want to spread and say 57,000 people have received help in their recovery this past year. 



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