Woman helps addicts after losing 5 family members to opioiods

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President Donald Trump says he is addressing the national opioid addiction problem, but for a family in one of the hardest hit communities in Florida - Manatee County - the help is too late.

Gerrie Stanhope says she grieves every day. She's lost her son, grandson, and three other family members to heroin and fentanyl overdoses. 

The loss of her son is with her always.

"It’s just tough. tough that he's not there,” Stanhope said. "You don't expect your kids to go before you."

If anyone knows the pain opioid addiction inflicts on families, it's her.

"I don’t have the time, inclination, or the energy to climb in a hole and be miserable all the time," she says.

Instead, she channels her energy into a group called No Longer Silent. Through her work with the group, she talks to addicts in recovery about what she's gone through.

“It brings me peace to help other people," she explained. "We are trying to take away the stigma so people that are suffering through substance abuse will speak up and get help."

President Trump declared opioid addiction a national health crisis in the United States Thursday. Stanhope says it’s promising to hear the POTUS address the problem, but she wants to see action.

"He needs to not talk about it, he needs to do something about it," she said.