Leaders bring awareness to substance abuse

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – In Pitt County, organizations come together to provide the community with substance abuse resources.

A recovering addict says people need to have a discussion with their children on substance abuse because it not only affects addicts but their families too.

Harold Battle was addicted to drugs and alcohol for more than 20 years. It started from taking pills and drinking socially, until he discovered cocaine.

“I was hanging around people who were using it and the first few times I was able to just say no, and I was drinking alcohol and once I got high off alcohol then I just couldn’t say no to the cocaine,” Battle said.

Battle says his addiction changed his life and the lives of those who loved him. “They just had to let me go and find out for myself, and find what my final destination was for me.”

Four years ago, Battle found the Pitt County Coalition on Substance Abuse. The organization helps addicts, and with the group’s help, Battle is now three years sober. The coalition hosts the annual Fall Festival and Walk to Recovery each year to plug directly into the community.

“We do understand that we will never be able to eradicate drugs in our community. It’s an unfortunate part of society but we can come together to help those who need those resources so badly,” said Melissia Larson.

The event focuses on letting people know the resources available in Eastern North Carolina, which they hope will stop the drug problem from growing. Other organizations that focus on rehab take different approach to recovery, including enlisting the help of some furry friends.

“They are an unbiased person or animal that loves these people that are in treatment and they can get the support they need,” explained Larson.

As for Battle, he’s proud of the progress he’s made and plans to continue fighting his addiction.

“My life is so wonderful today and I am a very happy person.”

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