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More and more people are struggling with prescription painkiller addiction in Hamilton. According to statistics obtained by CBC Hamilton from the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Information System, admission rates for local opioid withdrawal programs are now the second highest in the province, behind only northern Ontario.
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In 2002, one in ten people who entered a withdrawal management program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare were opioid patients. By 2012, it was one in four. But these people aren’t just numbers — each of them has a unique story about just how they fell into addiction and their journey out of it.