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Durham Rescue Mission's victory program helps people struggling with addiction

Posted July 31

— Richard Dial credits the Durham Rescue Mission's victory program with saving his life. Now, he is giving back to those looking to overcome addiction.

"I tell them my story. I've had a few people come here because of my story," Dial said.

Dial went to the Durham Rescue Mission two years ago desperate for help.

"I had looked up and prayed and said, 'I don't know what I'm going to do,'" he said.

Durham Rescue Mission

Dial is recent graduate of the program, a 12-month addiction detox, but he remembers life under the influence of painkillers.

"At the end I was taking 15 or 20 at a time. I don't know how I would still be walking," Dial said. "I got paid $350 a week. That Friday, I'd spend at least $200."

The rescue mission opened a dormitory in the spring to house people who are battling addiction. The goal is to open another.

United States of Opioids

Like other drugs, opioid prescriptions vary by dosage and days supply, so the Centers for Disease Control used pharmacy surveys to calculate a measurement called MME - morphine milligram equivalents. Select a county below to find out the annual MME per person for each county in 2015 and see how things have changed in the last five years. Some counties, like Camden, did not report data for 2015.

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From 2010 to 2015, nearly half of all localities reporting across the country saw a decrease in the prescription of opioids, according to CDC data analyzed by The Associated Press. But about one-quarter saw an increase of more than 10 percent. Here's a look at morphine milligram equivalents per capita for each locality that reported in 2015.

MME per capita






The CDC's study found that localities with high prescribing rates had several factors in common, including larger percentages of non-Hispanic white residents, a higher prevalence of diabetes and arthritis, higher rates of unemployment and higher rates of Medicaid enrollment. Counties with higher rates also tended to be so-called "micropolitan" areas, which have fewer than 50,000 people with urban areas of at least 10,000.

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Currently, more than 450 beds are available, but that might not be enough.

"We are seeing an increase in usage of opioids," said Ernie Mills Jr., director of the rescue mission. "We are prepared for much more of an increase."

Mills said what a lot of people find surprising is that most people battling addiction actually live normal lives.

"Most people are keeping things on an even keel, but that little teeter totter is keeling the other way," he said.

Dial said he agrees. Overcoming addiction is a work in progress.

"I've been clean for two years and I still battle with the mental part of it," he said.


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