A deadly epidemic: Valdosta resident speaks about battling addiction

| September 22, 2016

By Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News

VALDOSTA – In the midst of Prescription Opioid and Heroin Awareness Week, a Valdosta resident speaks out about battling addiction.

It’s been one year and twelve days since Jamie Meeker walked through the doors of Behavioral Health Services in search of help.

“My total experience with substance illegally is probably 19 years of my life,” says Meeker.

He says it started with prescription opioids for chronic pain.

“It treated the pain alright, but in the same process I was making pain,” says Meeker.

At the time he was 18, still in high school, and homeless.

“It’s a build up,” says Meeker. “You start at your lowest point and eventually you need more and more.”

Berinda Nwakamma with Behavioral Health Services says,”We forget that there are people out there that are struggling day-to-day just to maintain to survive and try to stay sober.”

Behavioral Health Services of South Georgia says Meeker is one out of 500 clients, all searching for the same thing.

“Just being able to have the ability to be happy with me,” says Meeker.

He says it’s a process, and he still has work to do.

Meeker is still homeless and fighting each day, while getting much needed help along the way.

The U.S. Department of Justice says more Americans die every year from drug overdose than to vehicle accidents.

They also say most of those involve painkillers and heroin.

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