By Christina Mersereau
Greetings from Christina Mersereau! I was hired back in May of 2018 as a member of the ROOT team. ROOT stands for Recovery Opioid Overdose Team. For several months, I and my teammates were on call at all hours of day and night, ready to go to St. Joseph or University of Michigan hospital any time there was an overdose case where the patient was treated with Narcan. Narcan is a trade name for Naloxone, which is used to treat patients who have overdosed on opiates: heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl etc. It works by essentially “reversing” the action of the drug, allowing people who might have died to “come back” long enough to go to the hospital and recover in a safe place.
Working for ROOT was both rewarding and harrowing. It is a great feeling to see someone who is so desperate to get better decide to go into treatment. On the flip side, it is harrowing to see someone so desperate decide not to get treatment. These people are in grave danger, as the disease of addiction only goes in one direction: worse, until death do us part. And, sadly, I became aware of several overdose deaths during my time working with ROOT. But I remind myself of all the success stories, all the people who overcame sometimes horrific situations in the struggle to get better. It is these stories that inspire me. In September of 2018, I was offered a new role with Home of New Vision, as Marketing and Development Manager. I hope I am more useful in this role, working behind the scenes to help our team battle addiction and stigma. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in any way.
I wanted to introduce myself since I will probably be the one who writes most of the blog posts. That is not a hard, fast rule, however! I would love to have a variety of writers contribute to this section of the website. If you would like to write an article, essay, or a letter (whatever-I am not picky!), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.