A fentanyl overdose survivor is offering a message of hope to others battling addiction and substance abuse after U.S. drug overdose deaths hit a record high in 2021.
Matt Dillon, who overdosed in 2016, joined “America’s Newsroom” Thursday to recount the day that changed his life forever.
“For the last 10 years of my youth, I would wake up every single day upset that I woke up,” Dillon told co-host Sandra Smith. “I just wanted to die, and it was when I opened my eyes in that hospital room… and that doctor said to me, ‘Welcome back, Mr. Dillon,’ and at first I felt a great amount of shame, and then that was followed by gratitude that I hadn’t had for waking up in as long as I could remember.”
“From that point on, I realized that something had to change.”
The number of teens and adolescents dying from drug overdoses has increased drastically over the past two years.
Dillon overdosed on his 36th birthday and needed three shots of Narcan to save his life. Since that day, he has dedicated his life to healing and serving others with the goal of becoming a drug and alcohol counselor.
“So I graduated from that program recently, and I’m about to walk with an associate’s degree in a couple of weeks, and it will be my first time wearing a cap and gown and walking because like I said, I dropped out of high school,” Dillon said.
The opioid crisis has crippled areas nationwide since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with overdose deaths reaching an all-time high in 2021 of over 100,000 people, according to the CDC.
“What I’m focused on right now is letting people know who are in the same position that I was in, that you can go from the lowest point to where you think you’ve done irreparable damage, and you can have a life,” Dillon said. “I just want to spread hope with my message, and I just want to show people that you could be at the lowest of the low point, but there’s always a comeback.”
“You can come back from it, but what needs to be done is we must be comfortable asking for help.”
Bailee Hill is an associate editor with Fox News Digital.