Wytheville addiction recovery center researching what leads to drug abuse

By Irisha Jones - Reporter

WYTHEVILLE, Va. - An addiction recovery center in Wytheville is looking to find what leads a person to drug use. 

Training staff on how to support patients who have experienced trauma as a way to get to the root cause of opioid addiction is the goal for ReVIDA Recovery.

"We do see many of our patients with large numbers of adverse childhood experiences and traumas in their background," said Angelee Murray, director of corporate and community development.

She said this event is giving people the tools to ask the right questions.

"Did you grow up in a household of domestic violence? Did you have a family member that was incarcerated growing up? Did you have someone in your family that was also a drug addict or alcoholic?" asked Murray. 

The training is also an effort by ReVIDA to help those with opioid use disorder reclaim their lives.

"People don't wake up one day and decide to become a drug abuser," said Murray. 

Christopher Freeze is a former special agent in charge with the FBI in Mississippi.

"If you want to understand workplace violence, if you want to understand why we have school shootings, if you want to understand the opioid problem -- three words: adverse childhood experiences," said Freeze. 

There was one particular situation started his journey to become more informed about trauma.

"We had an individual who was engaged in online activity, we were concerned about whether or not it was online terrorism. Problem is, he was 17 years old," said Freeze.

Local clergy, first responders, law enforcement officers and others in the community said this is another way to fight the opioid epidemic in a holistic way.

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