National bus tour stops in Twin Cities, trying to save lives with community conversation

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A national bus tour on a mission to help people recovery from addiction and save lives had a stop in Minneapolis.

Sunday, the Mobilize Recovery Across America 2022 bus was parked at Minneapolis Fire Department’s Station 14. The bus tour helps bring community leaders and stakeholders together to generate conversation – a main focus during the Twin Cities’ visit was on opioid use, specifically fentanyl.

“I’ve seen a lot of different addictions and a lot of different things hit the community over the years, but right now fentanyl to me is the biggest challenge and the increasing proliferation of it,” Bryan Tyner, fire chief for the Minneapolis Fire Department, said.

The conversation was led by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

This is an incredible opportunity to be able to raise awareness and to focus on hope and solutions as well.,” Dr. Joe Lee, president and chief executive officer with Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, said.

Alongside Chief Tyner was Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and a couple local organizations that support people and family struggling with addiction, including Twin Cities Recovery Project.

A solution that was shared by the Twin Cities Recovery Project was ensuring communities have culturally specific programs.

“It is so important because that’s how information can be delivered in a way that allows those who are [looking] for services to receive them in a way that they can assimilate them into their everyday lives and get the best the best results from it,” George Lewis, board member with the Twin Cities Recovery Project said at the roundtable discussion.

Stressing the importance of knowing how to respond to an overdose was also part of the talks. Firefighter, and someone who has overcome addiction, Theo Krzywicki, is part of the bus tour – since overcoming addiction himself he’s been a fierce advocate for helping others do the same and save lives through his organization End Overdose.

“What can we do to bring services directly to people? Not just [ask] them to go somewhere, but how can we bring recovery, how can we bring life-saving medication [to them] as opposed to just letting the people fall by the wayside,” Krzywicki said about their effort.

Resources for yourself or someone you know struggling with addiction can be found here.