NORWICH, CT (WFSB) – A woman is sharing her story about drug addiction in the hope of saving lives.
Who is this woman could surprise you.
"I have placed my trust in my doctor and pharmacist," said Joanne Philbrick, Norwich Alderwoman.
A 75-year-old grandmother may not be the person who would think she has a problem with drugs.
But Joanne Philbrick is open and honest about her opiate addiction.  "I never got up too much oxycodone: when I took the pills it would mean that I could do things like emptiness," said Philbrick
She is also an alderwoman for the city of Norwich.
This week at a council meeting, she became public with her addiction [1
Your doctor prescribed oxycodone for pain, 84 pills for a week.
Philbrick said he only took one or two a day, much less than the prescribed 12 per day.
"He said," mom is something wrong with you. " I told her what drugs I was taking and she said, "You're a drug addict." I said, "I'm not a junkie." He said, "You're taking drugs and you're dependent on them," Philbrick said.
His daughter noticed that he was having trouble with words and felt sick.
"I went to the emergency room, the doctor asked what drugs I was taking, I told him the oxycodone for my thighbone and he said you were going through the retreat," said Philbrick.
A drug addict who goes through retreat, hard to believe and even more surprising.
"He went on to say that the normal protocol is methadone, hospital treatment, but he said that unfortunately there are no beds for the elderly," said Philbrick.
Nowhere to go, did the cold turkey at home.
Philbrick knew he was treating his addiction that he had to get rid of the pills.
He took them to the Norwich Police Department because he feared he would take them.
Many police departments have containers where you can dispose of the pills 24 hours a day
. In 2015, 729 died of drug overdoses in CT, 90% of all cases of overdose are related to opioids.
This number has increased every year.
Since last year, 866 people have died with 150 pending tests.
Recovery was difficult for Philbrick.
He lost 40 pounds in just three weeks and now he needs a cane to move, but he has a strong message.
"I hope you save a person and prevent them from feeling ashamed or embarrassed.For families being supportive, for pharmacies, they created this problem," said Philbrick.
He takes recovery one step at a time.
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