Local businesses and city leaders team up to fight opioid crisis

Officials with the District Attorney's Office said last year more than 300 people died from drug overdoses and this year we're on pace to surpass it.
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 5:36 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2022 at 5:38 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - “I can tell you it’s not looking good. It’s not looking good for the end of 2022. I have a feeling we’re going to hit another record and so we really need to act now because acting now is what’s going to save people’s lives,” Beau Clark, East Baton Rouge Coroner, said.

As more lives are lost each year to drug overdoses private businesses are teaming up with nonprofits to help the community.

“It does not discriminate, it doesn’t care where you live, your neighborhood, your school, who your friends are you get one dose of fentanyl, that’s one too much, and in fact many times this is getting pressed into drugs that they are unaware,” Brad Barber, CEO of H&E Equipment Services, Inc., said.

Barber said they are pledging $100,000 to help the When You Are Ready campaign end the opioid crisis in Baton Rouge.

“I think it’s important that other businesses get involved, not only from a financial standpoint, but I’m going to be out soliciting businesses, and I welcome anyone to contact us who would like to give, but we are going to ask you for two things, resources, and that comes in the form of funding, or people. These outreach weekends are more impactful than you may appreciate,” Barber said.

Tonja Myles runs When You Are Ready BR, which helps people who have made a choice to get over their drug addictions.

She said they need more boots on the ground to reach out to those who need help.

“We partnered with Crime Stoppers and so we talked to some smart people, and we asked them, could we allow people the opportunity, if they know who they bought (drugs) from and their loved one died, then you need to turn them in because that’s a crime. Someone is dead and that’s the crime and look, a lot of people say, what if they want to stop selling drugs? So, if you want to stop selling drugs, we can help you get a job. If you could stay clean.”

Jon Daily, who works with the district attorney’s office, said the city is on track to reach another record-breaking year for overdoses.

“People are being deprived of that opportunity to be willing to change. See, I’m terrified of being a recovered addict if I’m not on top of my game in my recovery, then it would take nothing for me to go right back to the same old default compulsive behaviors. And I might not get a second chance,” Daily said.

For more information go to: https://www.whenyouarereadybr.com/

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