The McShin Foundation helping substance users as overdoses rise

More people are overdosing from substance abuse than ever before.
Published: Aug. 26, 2023 at 6:33 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2023 at 7:36 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - More people are overdosing from substance abuse than ever before.

According to the Secretary of Health and Human Resources website, 1,951 people in Virginia died from fentanyl in 2022.200 people in Richmond died from an overdose in 2021, with 180 deaths reportedly from opioids.

Fentanyl alone is killing hundreds of people in the river city. According to the DEA’s website, 128 deaths in Richmond during the first half of 2021 were due to fentanyl. 130 people died in Henrico from an overdose in 2021, with 119 being from opioids. In Chesterfield, 141 people were overdosing, with 123 being opioid deaths.

“The crisis we have in the United States, it’s terrifying,” said Andrew Rose, a former substance abuser who utilized The McShin Foundation programs.

“Every day I come to work, I’m at war with this, with fentanyl,” Rose said. “It’s real.”

Abusing drugs and alcohol impacts more than just the person using it.

“It’s a ripple effect to every single person that is in that addict’s or alcoholic’s life,” said Rose.

“I couldn’t have done it alone, I will say that. When I came into recovery, I had nothing,” Rose said.

He recently spoke to people at the beginning of their recovery journey.

“It was almost kind of emotional to go back and spend the day with people; some people had just come off the street who were homeless, and some people who were still detoxing, and I went through that, I lived that, so I understand what they’re going through and it’s an uphill battle,” Rose said.

Addiction is an uphill battle that the weekend supervisor for the foundation said doesn’t end when you leave the program.

“People that never knew of recovery that come here, their lives change,” said the weekend supervisor for The McShin Foundation, Colley Croteau.

Although, he said it is an honor to see people grow.

“To see them light up, going from defensive to just really like ‘I love this place,’ it’s amazing to watch,” Croteau explained.