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Courtesy: Matt Bell
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TOLEDO – 15 months ago Matt Bell was at his breaking point.
“When I looked in the mirror I didn’t recognize myself anymore,” Bell said.
Addicted to heroin on and off for nine years, he knew something had to give.
“I didn’t want to live anymore. I didn’t think that I could stop using heroin.”
Things weren’t always that way. At 19, he played baseball for the University of Toledo. He had surgery for an injured shoulder, and the pain pills eventually led to heroin. He overdosed and landed in jail multiple times.
“I had pushed everybody away in my family, my friends. I was completely alone and I was miserable, and I’m just not that kind of person.”
That’s when he reached out to Drug Abuse Response Team, or DART. Lt. Robert Chromik with the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office heads the program. The goal is to get addicts in treatment, and keep them out of jail.
“These are high risk individuals that are on the brink of ether dying or committing serious crime to keep their addiction going,”
Chromik said. He said more than 2,000 people in Lucas County have overdosed on opiates in 2016, yet there are less than 40 detox beds.
“I would much rather bring somebody to a home and say this is how well your son or daughter is doing, than show up at a funeral home and offer my condolences.”
Team Recovery is now working with Florida-based Recovery in the Light to open Midwest Treatment Center and Midwest Detox Center in the spring. They are renovating a building in Maumee. The facilities will treat any kind of substance abuse addictions, as well as mental health disorders. It will have 22 detox beds. After the initial detox, Bell says no opiates like suboxone or methadone will be used.
“We need to stop sugar coating it and substituting one drug for another.”
Instead, they will use therapy and a 12 step program, the same approach that Bell said worked for him.
“We’re going to do it the right way and we’re going to try and address it and put a solution on it.”
The facility will accept private insurance, but Bell says they will also provide scholarships for those without insurance.
Written by Kayla Strayer
Original article on nbc24.com