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'It will eat you alive': Families Against Narcotics educate public about drug addiction

Prescription drugs are the leading cause of overdoses in Kent County, according to the organization.

ROCKFORD, Mich. — Families Against Narcotics hosted an event Wednesday educating parents about what they need to know if their child is struggling with opioid and pain killer addiction. 

The Michigan-based organization focuses on the family dynamic and ensures that everyone is getting treated, not just the person who has a drug addiction, according to Linda Davis, one of the founders of the organization and an executive director. 

"It truly is a family disease. When somebody is suffering from addiction the whole family is affected by that," Davis said. 

She had a daughter who was addicted to opioids and said it was "devastating to watch her life [tumble] out of control and not be able to stop it." Though it's a parent's instinct to nurture their child - especially when they're struggling - she said that behavior can keep them in the addiction.

"We become addicted to the people we love who have that addiction," she said. And oftentimes, parents show the same side effects of addiction: they become isolated and quit doing the things they love. 

And that's why Families Against Narcotics works to build those healthy boundaries with families to get their sanity back again, according to Davis. 

According to the organization, there are 192 drug overdose deaths every day, and prescription drugs are the leading cause of overdose in Kent County.

The stigma and the fear of being judged are what impede people from asking for help, according to Davis. But she said families shouldn't feel ashamed of a family member struggling with addiction. 

"They have a disease, and we should be treating them with the same compassion that we would treat [anyone] suffering from any disease," she said. 

"If [it's] not treated, it will eat you alive." 

If you are struggling with drug addiction, Davis advises asking an adult you trust for help. 

For more information about their cause, visit their website

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