Former addicts share story to help shine light on resurging opio - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Former addicts share story to help shine light on resurging opioid problems

(Source: KLTV) (Source: KLTV)

Nearly a dozen people have been indicted after an East Texas drug bust that also uncovered guns and ammo.

Back in March, ATF, SWAT members, and other agents raided three locations in East Texas, making numerous arrests and seizing large amounts of
meth and heroin. 11 people were charged with federal felonies.

To police, that bust was another indication that heroin is making a comeback. The state attorney general took aim at similar prescription legal drugs containing opioids. The AG has announced an ongoing investigation into the opioid crisis, specifically the opioid manufacturers of such drugs as oxycodone or hydrocodone.

Good news for people who have lived through opioid addiction.

"It's way past time. It will take everything from you. If you don't have it from a doctor, you're going to go somewhere else, you're going to go to the street," says former addict Stephen Chisnall.

There were more than 33,000 opioid-related deaths nationwide in 2015, including over 1100 in Texas. nearly half of them involving prescription opioids.

"1 became two, two became three, in my teenage years I was up to three or four at a time. Didn't graduate high school," says recovering addict Chris Barrow.

Chisnall took hydrocodone for 34 years.

"After my back surgery, pain just started building and building. One pill led to two, then two to three and so on, and it got to where I was taking 31 a day I counted," he says.

The investigation will focus on what role manufacturers play in the opioid problem.

"The first thing I thought of in the morning was how many do I have? The last thing I thought at night was how many do I have?," Barrow says.

Legal pain-killers like hydrocodone are chemically similar or derived from the poppy plant. Heroin.

"Every type of withdrawal symptom you can imagine, you experience. That affects me still to this day, still to this day my memory isn't what it should be. Lives are being ruined because of this," says Barrow.

Chisnall and Barrow are both clean and sober after going through addiction rehab programs 

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