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Butterflies released for International Drug Overdose Awareness Day

Every butterfly represents a person killed from an opioid drug overdose in the United States each day.

Posted: Aug. 31, 2018 10:49 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - 115 butterflies were released in Terre Haute Friday for International Overdose Awareness Day.

Every butterfly represents a person killed from an opioid drug overdose in the United States each day. The butterflies also have meaning for those who survive an overdose.

Hamilton Center Chief of Addiction Services Jennifer Hutchens says, "What we find is that individuals, when they overdose, they're very much like a butterfly in a cocoon and they're ready to come out of their cocoon and they're ready to transform and fly into something beautiful and that's what recovery symbolizes."

The event was hosted by the Hamilton Center. The organization offers help to many struggling with addiction.

Recovering addict Megan Rochelle says, "I can still remember the first time I tasted the Devil. It was like I had been searching for that feeling my entire life. All that shame and guilt disappeared. The sensation of not feeling consumed me and for the next ten years I did anything and everything I could to maintain that high."

Preliminary results from a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows a record number of Hoosiers died from a drug overdose last year. This includes opioids and other drugs.

72,000 people died from overdoses nationwide last year. That's a ten percent increase from the year before.

In Vigo County, numbers are down but just barely.

Hutchens says, "Not as many as we've seen in previous years but the numbers aren't dropping by much. We're talking about one or two deaths."

Those affected by addiction were invited to participate in this event and organizers hope they understand they are not alone and help is available.

Hutchens says, "We've seen individuals come in and they've regained employment and they've regained visits with there kids and they've regained family. Their color is better, their eyes are brighter and they just have regained the life that they once had, that they had lost, and that's why we say come here and regain something lost."

September is known as recovery month.

If you or someone you know needs help resources are available here.

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