Father wants you to know ‘addiction is a disease’ 00:00

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Father wants you to know 'addiction is a disease’

The pandemic disrupted drug abuse treatment for Leon Wittner’s daughter Sara. The stigma of addiction kept him from seeking help earlier. In hopes of saving others, this grieving father speaks about his family’s experience with addiction and loss.

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Fact: More than 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months ending in May 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Without doing what I’ve been doing, speaking to who I’ve spoken to, Sara’s death is so meaningless. And I don’t want other parents to deal with what Gina and I have dealt with.”

Leon Wittner says his daughter Sara’s drug overdose death was due in part to the disruption of treatment caused by the pandemic. But more than anything, he blames the stigma of addiction and substance abuse, which he says kept his family from seeking help early in her illness. In hopes of saving others, he speaks openly about his family’s experience with addiction and loss. 

“She was ferocious in her support of people in addiction recovery. So when she died, I knew it was something that I needed to continue.

“It was the only way I could find any hope in her death.”

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I Get It

I have live it..My daughter Erica passed away August 02 2019 Fentanyl Laced Cocaine,died instantly..My Prayers are with you....

Lindsay Pierce

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