Community meeting

Brown County Hosts Opioid Crisis Community Meeting

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Several family members, friends and neighbors who have lost loved ones to opioids say enough is enough.

Brown County officials held an Opioid Crisis Listening Session Monday night, giving residents a safe space to share their stories about the dangers of addiction.

Dozens of local residents who spoke out said the community needs to actively tackle a drug problem that only appears to be getting worse.

“In the last two years I’ve needed CPR from paramedics and Narcan five times,” said a man who admitted to using heroin at the event.

It took place at the Backstage at the Meyer at 101 S. Washington St in Green Bay from 5-8 p.m.

One by one, people stood in front of the crowd. They came with stories of how opioids destroyed their lives. Some shared their own personal battles.

“I would have died if it hadn’t been for this program. They kept me out of prison, my children are returned to my care, they put me through treatment. So for that, I’m so grateful,” said a woman who shared her name as Erin.

Tom Farley, brother of the late actor Chris Farley, hosted the listening session. Chris died of a drug overdose and was well known for his work on Saturday Night Love and the films ‘Tommy Boy’ and ‘Beverly Hills Ninja’.

He was also originally from Wisconsin.

“My brother died of an opioid overdose 25 years ago, and I’m still here to talk about it. I guess what really surprises me is that not only have we not learned about the dangers of these drugs, but the drugs themselves have actually gotten worse,” said Tom Farley.

Others shared the stories of their children who died of drug overdoses.

Sandra Ranck says her son Mitch started at 16 struggling with substances and in his early twenties – he started using heroin. At the age of 27, he died of a fentanyl overdose.

“I am a heartbroken and angry mother. And if I could help somebody, and I’m sure everybody setting here has lost somebody to drug addiction. The hot sauce in all of this for me watching it, and having been at it for a decade, is the piece of fentanyl,” Ranck said.

Brown County officials said the event was a safe space for those who could share and listen to how the opioid crisis is impacting the lives of our community.

On September 1, Brown County declared the powerful opioid fentanyl a community health crisis. As a result, officials are directing funds to support programs and creating the Brown County Overdose Task Force.

Brown County leaders speak to the community about the fentanyl problem