A first of it's kind heroin summit attracted a massive crowd in Fond du Lac Tuesday night.
Eager for information on a growing drug problem people in Fond du Lac filled an auditorium at Marian University beyond capacity. It was a chance to engage and educate the community on the issue. The speakers included police, medical professionals and two former addicts.
"You see these high increase in over doses. Your seeing this kids at a younger age using. A lot of them are becoming strung out very quickly because the potency of the drug itself, so it is becoming easier and easier. Your taking prescription drugs, your taking heroin. They're leading off of each other and addiction is becoming quite common unfortunately," said Anthony Alvarado of Ripon, a former addict.
Alvarado has been clean a year and a half. His co-presenter, Douglas Darby discovered heroin as a high school student.
"When you start seeing numbers like 50 percent increase in heroin overdoses. We need to act now," said Darby of Green Bay.
According to the Department of Justice the amount of heroin seized in Fond du Lac since 2010 has doubled, and the amount of heroin arrests have quadrupled. Organizers originally set up the event to handle about 250 people. However, so many showed up it was standing room only inside and a few people had to be turned away at the door.
"I think it's a loud clear statement that Fond du Lac cares. We take care of people here and the community heard our message and they do care there is a problem here," said Mary Gerlach, Executive Director of Beacon House.
Gerlach says she organized the summit after attending a similar event recently in Waukesha.
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