As a result of the opiate/narcotic crisis, Peter’s Angels hosted a resource fair on Sunday, September 24 at St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in Troy. Named after Peter Alraihani, who lost his life at 27-years-old to an overdose in 2014, Peter’s Angels was formed by his aunt Iman Numan and sister Angie Toma. They wanted to raise awareness of the drug epidemic within the Chaldean community and to provide prevention through education and awareness.
Within one month, three people in our community have lost their lives to drug overdose. The drug epidemic is growing not only in this community but on a national and nationwide level. According to 2015 data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, there were 1275 deaths from an overdose of opioids, including heroin, in Michigan alone. That number exceeded the 840 deaths from traffic crashes and the 1164 from gun deaths.
Various organizations have tried to help, but they found that in the Chaldean community, they had two issues to deal with; the drug overdose problem and the stigma and stereotypes that are associated with it. For most families, this subject is considered taboo. The fear of shame, humiliation, and how others will view them prevents people from coming forward, talking about it, and seeking the proper and necessary help.
“I didn’t want my brother’s death to go in vain,” said Toma. “He always wanted something in our community that addresses this problem. He said, ‘Why do I have to always have to go to American church and other centers for that?’ He would be so proud of all the people that came out to the Source Fair.”
- If you are in need of help or are a family member or friend is seeking help, call Peter’s Angels 24-Hour Hotline at (833) ANGEL-4U [ (833) 264-3548 ] - where someone will always answer to help you or your loved one find help.