BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WKRG) — It’s a drug so dangerous that just touching it can kill you, yet some addicts in our area are abusing it every day. We are talking about Fentanyl. WKRG talked to recovering addicts at The Landing for Women in Baldwin County about how Fentanyl addiction took hold of their lives.
Haley Beason is the Executive Director of The Landing. Her struggle with addiction led her to open the recovery home for women in Baldwin County. She said that fentanyl started to rear its ugly head a couple of years ago, and now many drugs are being laced with it. She said it’s become the drug of choice for a lot of the women who come through her doors.
“Fentanyl is five times more powerful than heroin. One hundred times more powerful than morphine,” said Beason. “Now the market is being flooded with fentanyl that is made in labs and brought across the border.”
Beason houses two dozen women at The Landing. Caroline Woods is one of them. Woods was addicted to heroin but preferred it to fentanyl because it was stronger.
“I was able to feel a feeling I hadn’t felt in a while. It would put me to sleep like I wanted. I started choosing to do the fentanyl. People would tell me it has fentanyl in it and I wouldn’t care,” said Woods.
Recovering addicts like Madison Allen told us that overdosing was normal for her. She started getting drunk and high when she was twelve. She has tried to get sober several times but kept returning to the fentanyl.
“Recently, it was so powerful I would overdose and die, but that wouldn’t stop me for more than a day. I would go back to it and die again…and then die again,” said Allen.
Addict, Janine Peerson, told us that fentanyl took her to “hell.” When she arrived at The Landing, she was spiraling out of control.
“I just wanted to numb it all out. I didn’t want to feel it anymore. The heroin didn’t work anymore. I had to do fentanyl to get a buzz,” she said.
Despite the fact that these women are battling such a difficult addiction, Beason said her program works. It’s based on the twelve steps. The women sometimes stay in her recovery home for up to two years. They also have to pay to be there. She helps them find work at Baldwin County businesses. She knows how she got sober and is sharing her experience with her clients.
“It is absolutely the best feeling in the world to witness someone come in so broken and so scared and spend a year rebuilding their life, reunite with their family, and on the path to permanent sobriety,” she said
The women we spoke with say they are feeling hopeful they will be able to kick their addictions.
“I do feel very hopeful, because this is the longest amount of time I have been sober before,” Caroline Woods told WKRG.
“This has been the best year of my life. I have never had real friends who care about me. I have never had my family support me. I have a real chance after being here,” said Madison Allen.
If you need help with drug addiction, there is help out there. You can contact The Landing here.