Conquering Addiction


Michigan woman helping others after winning battle with counterfeit prescription pills

Drug traffickers using social media platforms to target youth, says DEA
Posted at 8:19 PM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 20:19:21-05

(WXYZ) — Substance abuse continues to be a huge problem in our society.

And to make matters worse, in recent years, drug dealers have started to take advantage of opioid addiction by cutting it with fentanyl, which is considered the deadliest.

In fact, last year alone, the DEA seized 15,000 pounds of fentanyl, of which 611 pounds were confiscated right here in Detroit.

And even with this growing menace, there is always a way to prevent and even recover from addiction.

34-year-old Angela Spino-Bogota lives in Garden City with her husband and son.

Angela works as a recovery mentor for an organization that helps people with substance use disorder.

"I spent time in the school as a youth speaker talking about my lived experience as a person who has gone from active addiction to recovery," said Spino-Bogota, Certified Prevention Specialist / Certified Peer Recovery Mentor, Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities.

That’s right, Angela too was an addict and has been clean for over 9 years.

"I started using it around the time I was in high school, but I would say I became addicted to drugs and alcohol seriously when I was around 22," said Spino-Bogota.

In her early twenties, Angela was knee-deep with opioids and prescription pill addiction, which she would buy from her friends.

"People don’t just wake up one day and decide today is the day I will try heroin, there is a progression that happens, whether it’s through a doctor’s prescription or a friend who hands you something and says let’s try this," said Spino-Bogota.

Things turned for the worse when Angela gave birth to her son through C-section, this resulted in her being put on opioids that increased her addiction. In desperate need of a quick fix, Angela resorted to a robbery that put her behind bars for 21 months.

"It was the breaking point for me, there is nothing more than I wanted than to be a mother to my son. It's like waking up after 15 years in a fog and saying what happened?" said Spino-Bogota.

DEA’s Kent Kleinschmidt says the illicit drug trade got complicated since 2015 when traffickers started to use fentanyl as it's stronger and cheaper than heroin.

"It went from powdered fentanyl, which was being sold on the street as heroin, but it actually contained fentanyl to what we are seeing is most of this fentanyl put in pills and being sold that way," said Kleinschmidt, Detroit Division Acting Special Agent in Charge, DEA.

At present, counterfeit prescription pills are a bigger threat to our society as most drug dealers are targeting the youth through social media channels.

"What we are seeing is these pills come with the same exact markings as the pills would come from a pharmacy," said Kleinschmidt.

"Before you might have been able to experiment with a substance and say I’ve done this one, I don’t like it, I’m not going to do it, but now this one time you use, you can lose your life," said Spino-Bogota.

Now Angela says, the grass is greener on the other side, so if you or someone you know need help, then there are places you can reach out, including the Alliances of Coalitions for Healthy communities: