RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Justin Garrity had a long battle with addiction that included opioids, heroin, alcohol, and more.
After ending up homeless and sleeping in a Walmart parking lot, Garrity turned to Healing Transitions in Raleigh for help where he now leads their Client Services and Rapid Responder Program.
“I’d like to see more recovery support services in hospital emergency rooms and in jails. It is a big multi-faceted problem,” said Garrity.
It’s a problem that doesn’t seem to be going away.
According to Wake County EMS, there have been close to or more than 100 drug overdoses each month since May, more than 20 overdoses have occurred so far in October.
North Carolina saw a 34 percent increase in opioid overdoses statewide in 2020.
Garrity believes people staying home during the pandemic, feeling isolated, and missing addiction recovery meetings may have contributed to the problem.
“We need to be there when they are down so they have someone they can call and trust,” said Garrity.
Garrity is not sure if the overdose numbers will decline anytime soon. However, he says there is help available and hope on the other side.
“I’m getting married this weekend on Saturday so it’s a long way from the Walmart parking lot to a blissful day this Saturday with a solid place to live, good job, and all the other good things in life,” said Garrity.
If you or someone you know needs assistance, help is available at Healing Transitions, click here for more information.