Families gather to remember those lost to addiction

BELOIT, Wi. (WIFR) – Addiction takes someone’s life each and every day, but one Beloit organization is set on bringing families together and heal from the hurt.

Families, friends and loved ones came together on Sunday to support each other after losing someone in their life to addiction.

“The OxyContin and pills, clozapine all of that was very big when I was in high school. I knew he was into some of that, but I didn’t know that it was heroin or that he was shooting up for a very long time,” Rebecca Rogers, the sister of heroin addict Jay Rogers.

Jay Rogers spent years in and out of recovery until he eventually overdosed on heroin at only 24 years old in 2014. Jay’s sister, Rebecca Rogers, was in attendance at Sunday’s Family Facing Addiction event where loved ones of addicts gathered to share their stories and lean on one another for healing.

“Connecting. Being able to discuss without feeling you know like we’re being judged by how we lost them, or kind of the person that sometimes addiction can make them become. We can open up about that,” she said.

Rogers says, she held a lot of guilt for judging her brother. She would ask him why he “can’t just get better” and to “just stop taking the drugs.” It was only after he passed away that she realized, the drug was more powerful than his own ability to stop.

“I think that we need to see that the addiction can change them, and not to write them off,” said Rogers.

Rogers hosts a walk for addicts every June and does this in memory of those who lost their battle to addiction.

“Nobody wants to talk about addiction. Nobody wants to talk about how to fix this. So, it’s important that we get together and that we share our grief, and we share the good and that we strengthen each other,” said Tracy Burtis, the president of Families Fighting Addiction.

She says, the organization has been around for four years and even though it is a struggle to bring in more families each year, they always see new faces.

“We need more people to speak out for each other and to heal each other,” said Burtis

Rogers says a junkie or thief to a stranger is a child, sibling, parent, or friend to someone else. It is important not to write off the addict before understanding their journey.

Families Fighting Addiction officials say to always carry Narcan on you. You don’t want to ever use it but if you have to it’s there.

You can follow their facebook page for more information.

Source: https://www.wifr.com/2022/10/10/families-gather-remember-those-lost-addiction/

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