Residents gather in Levittown to combat opioid crisis

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Residents gather in Levittown to combat opioid crisis. Christie Ileto reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on August 30, 2017. (WPVI)

Residents whose lives have been touched by drug addiction in general and the opioid crisis in particular came together Wednesday night to find ways to combat what's become a national epidemic.

Thinking of his friends, Chris King joined dozens of others placing stones at the roots of a tree to highlight addiction awareness at Steps to Recovery in Levittown, Bucks County.

"I really had my friends die from this. It's not a joke anymore," King said.

A recovering addict, King says he has been clean for 2 and a half years, and he now has a daughter.

His mother, Jan King, said, "He works every day at his recovery, and he will work every day for the rest of his life."
The opioid epidemic has exploded in the affluent suburbs of major cities, putting a new face on an addiction problem that's plagued urban communities for decades.

In an effort to be proactive, Levittown has announced it's leading an aggressive charge against pharmaceutical companies that advertise opioid medications as a safe treatment for chronic pain.

Lisa Bumm of Levittown, the mother of an addict, said, "It happens to everyone. There's not a person around or family around that's not affected."

As for King, who spent time Wednesday night reflecting on his former life as an addict, getting and staying clean has been a day-by-day process.

"I obviously get the urge," he said. "We all do. I just get through it. I don't want to get back to all that."
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