'Stop neglecting it.' Stamford woman encourages users to get clean this National Recovery Month
A Stamford woman is drawing from her own experience to help and encourage others to get clean this National Recovery Month.
"For me, I was in and out of the hospital because they were spraying my marijuana with rat poison," says Margaret Walker, of Stamford.
The 39-year-old says she is deeply grateful to have overcome her battle with addiction.
"I'm glad I stopped when I did, it's like four years now, because I would be a statistic of the very same thing," she says.
Walker says her brother, 50-year-old David Barnes Sr. died of a fentanyl overdose in 2021.
"He was really like an upbeat, fun-loving person," says Walker.
On the first day of National Recovery Month, Walker wants to encourage anyone struggling with addiction to get help.
"To actually raise the awareness is big for me, because people don't even know that people spray weed with rat poison or any chemical but it's real, because I went to the hospital, and they told me," Walker explains.
Jorge Cruz works for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. He says during the month of April alone, local hospitals treated more than 100 overdoses in Bridgeport — 20 of them were fatal.
"That's why we have a crisis here. We have a crisis. People are dying," Cruz says.
Walker says while the right mix of interventions is critical, the path to recovery must begin with an individual's resolve to get clean and stay that way.
"You just got to be aware and get the help that's needed and stop neglecting it," Walker says. "You know, if you don't love you, nobody else will."