Coming together to battle an epidemic
Joanne Guarino was the keynote speaker at the inaugural Merrimack Valley Substance Use Disorder Symposium at UTEC in Lowell, a free event that brought together more than 350 people from area public safety agencies, health care organizations, recovery groups and more.
An Everett resident, Guarino's life turned around after being homeless for three decades.
"Somehow a bell went off in my head," she said. "I couldn't get high anymore. I couldn't do that to myself anymore."
Guarino was able to stop using, and is now a board member of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. She tries to assist people who are struggling like she used to -- helping them find treatment.