COMMUNITY FIGHT: Baytown battling opioid crisis together through 'O Team' initiative

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- The community of Baytown is stepping up to battle a problem they believe is becoming more and more prevalent in their neighborhoods: Opioid addiction.

"I think we have definitely seen a rise in opioid addiction," said Neil Gavi of the Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital.

The "O Team" Initiative was started after some people in the community decided the fight against addiction needed to be a community effort.

Mike Wilson, an "O Team" coordinator, says the mission is personal after learning his loved one was suffering from addiction and came to him for help.

"When it happens to somebody you know and love it's devastating and it opens your eyes to how it can impact not only your loved one but the rest of your family," Wilson said.

One major issue in combating the problem, according to Wilson, is the lack of support and treatment services.

Cease Addiction Now has been operating since 2007 and is headed up by John Havenar, another strong voice in the community calling for more support and funding to expand the "O Team."

"If you want to help, get your community involved," Havenar said.

The team focuses on four things: Education, Communication, Rehabilitation, and Collaboration.

The list of community partners growing includes Lee College, Goose Creek CISD, Baytown Police Department and EMS and Houston Methodist.

The hope is that more money and funding can help their operation expand to serve more in need of help.

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