GRANT COUNTY, WV. (WHSV) - The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health released their 2016 West Virginia Overdose Fatality Analysis.
The study began in December 2017.
Within the study, they found 81% of people who died from opioid overdose that year interacted with one of the healthcare systems. The study also found that 33% of those who died from an opioid overdose tested positive for a controlled substance, but had no record of a prescription at their time of death, indicating diversion of a controlled substance prescription.
Breanne Mculty grew up in Petersburg, West Virginia, and said the area is surrounded with heroin. She got into drugs in her early 20's and ended up spending time in prison. After her time in prison, she decided she wanted to help people herself. Now, she's living in Atlanta and is adamant on sharing her story so others can get the help they need.
She leads a Facebook group called "Testimony of the (un)broken" to help those who are recovering from addiction. It's a safe place for people to share their testimonies and encourage each other.
"I'm actually more proud of the fact that people are stepping up and they've come together the way that they are, and I tell them that every day, it's a really good thing. It takes a lot of nerve, a lot of strength to go live, and give your testimony," said Mculty.
She believes that there are many gateways that lead into the addiction lifestyle in general.
"A lot of the jobs in West Virginia are hard labor. Workers get injured on the job and they're referred to a doctor who over-prescribes them. This was the big issue before doctors started getting arrested. Once they were no longer in the picture, these addicts had no access to the legal drugs, and so they went for harder drugs such as heroin," Mculty said, "And now, we are faced with this huge problem."
Breanne just finished up a documentary she's working on called "Overdose." She is taking it to different film festivals to get it picked up, but her one goal with it is to take it back to West Virginia and show kids at schools her story.
"I'm still going to stand up and fight for anybody whose still trying to overcome this monster, because it's destroying everybody," said Mculty.
Mculty promises to keep working to help those who are suffering from addiction.
"I pray that the addicts find their strength and the sober folks stop kicking them while they're down, and lend a helping hand instead. Nobody can do this alone. We're all going to have to work together."