BAY COUNTY, Fla. - Opioid addiction is a growing problem in America and an increasingly huge problem here at home in Bay County. Those struggling with their addictions in the Bay County jail are given new hope with a program focused specifically on opiate users.
Five days a week, two hours a day, for eight weeks straight...twenty seven inmates engage in mental and physical activities to help overcome their addiction to opiates. Hesitant at first, those now in the program are thankful for it.
"I decided that I would do lifeline, not only just to get out but because I wanted to go through this and I wanted to be something better when I came out on the other side," said Inmate, Patrick McDaniel.
Mission Based Resilience is a part of the Lifeline Program in the jail that focuses solely on opioid addiction. Men ready to turn their lives around work together as a team, in physically demanding activities and engage in the classroom, both crucial aspects of the program.
"We're trying to teach the men, young and old, how to communicate with each other and how to work with each other. Rather than trying to take on a situation that's bigger than them, how to ask for help," said Classification Counselor, Darrell Byrd.
Help inmates say could have changed the course of their life if they had learned it sooner. "If I had learned this at 16 or 17 years old, I wouldn't be here today," said Inmate, Michael Johnson.
With only a week left behind bars, Johnson plans to use what he learned in this program to better himself for his family and he's not the only one with that goal.
"The only thing that I can do is learn from the things that I've done already and make them better. Through the key elements of this program, I'm going to be able to do that," said McDaniel. This is the second group to go through the program and so far they have a 100% success rate. No one who has graduated from the program has returned to the Bay County jail.
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