SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — One week ago, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office announced a drug bust they called “Operation Sundown.”
- Many in Seminole Co. relieved after 'Operation Sundown'
- Drug bust took down two seperate networks, 19 people
- Outreach director at SunRise Detox: Fighting drug addiction is a battle
Two separate networks that were distributing 750 little bags of heroin laced with fentanyl each day were brought down, and the news of a 19-person drug bust was noticed and appreciated by many.
“I’m very grateful for the bust," former addict Felecia Parris said. "The more drugs and heroin we can get off the street, the better.”
Parris is a mom of three and former opioid addict. At 19 years old, she became addicted to her prescription of OxyContin following a car accident in which she was rear-ended.
After fighting her addiction for years, she is now an outreach coordinator for SunRise Detox and explains once you leave a rehab program, that doesn’t mean you’re cured.
“It’s every second of every single day, I constantly have to be aware of my decisions that I am making — the environment I am in, what I am doing from minute to minute,” Parris said. “So it’s a struggle some days, (while) some days are easier than others.”
According to a 2016 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey, among high school students in Florida’s Seminole County, 38.1 percent of those surveyed reported having used an illicit drug in their lifetime.
Also, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, 54 percent of young people obtain opioids from a friend or family member.
One place teens can go to in Seminole County to fight their opioid addiction is “The Grove.”
The dorm-like facility has 70 beds and supplies structure, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, drug education classes, and activities for teens to help their transition back in to society.
"We want to do true rehab here, but allow slow access and transition back in to the community," said Amy Blakely, Vice President of Behavior Health at IMPOWER. "We want individuals that have the ability to use drugs, to leave here, and make the right decision to not use.
For immediate help with drug addiction, please call 321-639-1224 — option 2 — or visit www.impowerfl.org.