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Home » Addiction specialists share how to help loved ones amid fentanyl surge – 14 News WFIE Evansville

Addiction specialists share how to help loved ones amid fentanyl surge – 14 News WFIE Evansville

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) – With overdoses and fentanyl-related deaths surging throughout the Tri-State, law enforcement has taken steps to crack down on drugs, but addiction specialists say it can be a more personal matter.
As a recovering addict, Founder of Brighter Side Treatment Center Brandon Smiley told 14 News that no matter what you think, anyone can be affected by addiction.
“I didn’t wake up one day and say, ‘Hey, you know what? I’m going to destroy seventeen years of my life here for a work week and see what happens,’” he explained.
He said there’s any number of reasons someone can develop a chemical dependency.
For many of his clients, it’s an accident. He said that opioids can be medically prescribed and extremely hard to put down.
“They stop working, and then they hear about this other substance that will help, and they start taking that as well,” Smiley said. “Before you know it we have a dangerous situation on our hands. They’re addicted.”
With fentanyl cases rising in the Tri-State and across the country, he said it’s extremely important for loved ones to find help if they suspect someone has an addiction.
He said intervening, then getting them to a certified treatment specialist is crucial.
“The majority of the individuals who are already deep into an addiction, they don’t see the problem,” he said. “They think that everyone else is the problem, and unfortunately that’s not the case.”
He said with how fatal and common opioids have become, it’s not a bad idea to carry Narcan, which is available at many locations across the country.
“A tiny dust ball can kill someone,” he said. “People won’t get involved because they just don’t know. So I think it’s very very cautious that we always have the tools with us, gloves, whatever you may need.”
Even if you can’t imagine needing it, Smiley said you could save the life of someone else.
The state of Indiana has a page on its website that you can use to find help. Simply go to
It is also perfectly legal to carry Narcan in the event that you witness an overdose. Locations that sell Narcan can be found on
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