FREDERICK, Md. (DC News Now) — Latonia Rich will celebrate 22 years of sobriety this December, but she’s taking a moment to reflect on where she came from this September — or National Recovery Month.
“I grew up in DC and was affected by the crack wave of the 80s. I ended up coming into recovery December 14, 2000, and I haven’t looked back since,” said Rich.
She says addiction affected her entire family and she now works in recovery.
“I came here and I was high as a kite, but I didn’t want to live the way I’ve been living. I was the first person in my family that actually came into recovery, so it was a glimmer of hope,” said Rich.
Meghan Westwood, executive director for Maryland Treatment Centers says they’re seeing overdose deaths rise again in the state.
“In the first nine months of 2021 in the state of Maryland, we saw about 2,100 deaths related to it, but 150 those were related to western Maryland,” said Westwood.
The vast majority of those overdoses were opioid-related.
Congressman David Trone who serves Maryland’s 6th congressional district has been a huge advocate for addiction recovery and says what to benefit counties in western Maryland.
“We were getting a lot of community grants to send out to western Maryland. We put the other crisis grants to build a crisis center in Frederick. We’ve equipped 1.5 million dollars in Frederick in grants,” said Rep. Trone.
They all say the main goal is to reduce the stigma of addiction and help people recover.