LaPorte knows what Heroin can do to the community - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

LaPorte knows what Heroin can do to the community


LaPorte is battling heroin but they're not letting it get the best of them.  The town has an ongoing community wide effort to eradicate heroin.

Tanya Taschler lost her boyfriend to a heroin overdose.  "He actually passed away almost two years ago now," said Taschler, she didn't even know he was using the drug.  "I thought I was dreaming at first cause I had no idea.  I was with him all the time but it wasn't...he never did it with me, he never did it in front of me."

Unfortunately her story is all too common in LaPorte.  Taschler said, "it's affecting the community in a huge way.  There's so many people that are overdosing, there's so many people that are dying, people are losing someone that they love, that they care about."

Sonshine Troche is trying to make the story less common.  She provides programs for addicts in the local jail, outside of the jail and is now building a recovery home for women addicts.  "Anything we can do to help this community," said Troche.

Troche wants to help people like herself, she was once addicted to drugs and now regularly sees what heroin does to people.  "They look like they're a mess...their faces are very...I don't want to say disfigured but rough, there's a lot of wrinkles, a lot of scars...they pick at their faces a lot...a lot of emptiness in their eyes," said Troche.

She said that all changes when they go through her programs.  But there need to be more programs.  And she's teamed up with the LaPorte YMCA to make that possible.  Cindy Berchem with the YMCA said, "this is going to save lives.  We have an employee who works for us, she lost her son to a heroin overdose."

Bercham, Troche and others in LaPorte are working little by little to reverse the heroin epidemic in their community.  They say by not backing down their future looks pretty bright.  "I believe every person can win this," said Troche.

It's not just this one group of people who are battling the substance abuse problem.  LaPorte's Mayor Blair Milo campaigned saying she wanted to fight this issue because it's a huge concern for the community.  So she's been working to get everyone involved.  There have been roundtable discussions about this, heroin awareness walks and more.  She said the battle has to be fought this one person can do it alone.  "That's the only way we're going to have the necessary impact...the school's are involved, the city's involved, the courts are involved, different law enforcement agencies, the rehabilitation community is involved and that's been such a key component in being able to see some success here."

There's also teen talks that now happen at the LaPorte YMCA every third Thursday of the month.  The next one will be October 17th.  They are from 6:30-8 p.m. and anyone 13-18 years old is welcome to attend and talk about whatever they want.

If you'd like to learn more about Sonshine's Troche's latest project, the recovery home, click here.


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