Michiana native shares her story to help raise awareness about fentanyl, drug overdoses

NOW: Michiana native shares her story to help raise awareness about fentanyl, drug overdoses

PLYMOUTH IND., --- It’s the first ever "National Fentanyl Awareness Day” and ABC57 shed light on the synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It's sparking a surge in deadly drug overdoses here in Michiana and across the country.

The deadly drug is being mixed into other drugs and sometimes folks don’t even know.

ABC57 spoke to a Michiana native who overcame addiction and shared her story in hopes it helps others do the same.

“It was very ugly. I struggled for many many many years. I didn’t have a lot of places to stay. Nobody wanted to me around. I lost a lot of friends, respect. My family didn’t really want me around either,” said Eleanor Longacre, who’s now been sober for 11 years after overcoming a drug addiction.

The mother of four who’s now a dance instructor once battled a drug addiction for several years and got hooked when she was just 18- years-old.

“I came from a good family and it wasn’t until I hit about 18 years old, and I hit a real rough patch and I went straight down the deep end very fast. I went straight into meth, and it lasted a very long time. Going from heroin to fentanyl to some of the worse things on the market.”

Longacre is among the many who’ve tried the powerful drug, with the Center for Disease Control reporting over 100,000 overdose deaths last year, more than 41,000 of those related to fentanyl.

It’s a similar story across Michiana. Experts have linked the synthetic opioid to a jump in overdose deaths across the Hoosier state, with nearly 2,000 in 2021 alone.

The Michiana native from Plymouth overcame the stigma by sharing her story of transformation in hopes of inspiring someone else to do the same.

“11 years ago, I could not have dreamed in a million years my life would have turned out this beautiful,” she said.  “By me sharing my story saying I was in the same place you’re at and here’s the tools you need to get better to get help and to make a beautiful life for yourself, it means everything to me.”

Experts said drugs like heroin, cocaine, meth and more can be laced with fentanyl, with sometimes deadly results.

According to the CDC the U.S. as a whole, sees nearly 150 overdose deaths a day.

For more resources on how to identify the drug click here.

For resources on how to get help with overcoming addiction click here.

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