(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Families in the area are on a mission to get the community talking about the opioid crisis.
KQ2 has launched a collection of stories depicting the impact of opioid addiction and how everyday people are working to fix it. Titled "The Fix," shares personal stories of crime, tragedy, recovery and hope in the St. Joseph-area.
The series includes several medical experts along with stories of addiction.
26-year-old Ryan Pinson died of a heroin overdose in a sober-living home in St. Joseph on May 2017. His parents, Doug and Kristie Pinson, are devoted to sharing Ryan's story. The Pinsons said they hope it inspires others to join in the fight against addiction.
While the Pinsons tell their son's story, Ashley Grippando shares hers. Grippando said her experience began with the use of prescription drugs for back pain. She gave birth to three children while she was battling her addiction. She and her husband are in recovery. They said it was the threat of losing their children that brought them out of the fog.
Mark Puckett planned to open a treatment center in honor of his late son who overdosed on heroin more than two years ago. After his son, also named Mark, died Puckett vowed to combat the crisis and educate Missourians on how addiction impacts all of us. Wednesday Sept. 5, the St. Kolbe-Puckett Center for Healing, a clinic dedicated to helping those facing addiction, will officially open its doors.
According to the CDC, more than 63,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2016. The agency's Second Annual Report of Prescription and Illicit Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes reports an estimated 48.5 million persons in the United States reported use of illicit drugs or misuse of prescription drugs in the past year.