PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A group of U.S. House members, along with Governor Doug Ducey, discussed the scourge of opioid abuse on Wednesday in Phoenix, and the person who may have made the strongest impression isn't a politician at all.
There were a lot of familiar names from Arizona's congressional delegation at the hearing of a subcommittee of the Homeland Security Committee, including GOP Reps. Debbie Lesko, Richard Schweikert, and Martha McSally. Democratic reps Raul Grijalva, Kyrsten Sinema, and Ruben Gallego were also present.
So how did Wayne Warner find himself speaking before the subcommittee hearing? It started with an accident at school when he was a kid.
"This was actually shut in a door inside of a school. Completely shut and severed the two fingers and surgically reattached them," said Warner.
He was given painkillers. Opioids. Then, Warner got hooked, and eventually, he got busted stealing a car.
"After a seemingly slow graduation, I went on to marijuana, pills, and eventually heroin," said Warner. "I found myself homeless. jobless, and nearly lifeless."
Warner beat his addiction at Teen Challenge in Phoenix, which is a faith-based place to come clean. It's been a long road back, but Warner says people can make it. Now, Warner is the Dean of Men at Teen Challenge Arizona.
"I will be celebrating six years of sobriety this October," said Warner. "I will be celebrating my one-year anniversary this June, and we will be celebrating the birth of our newborn baby boy in July."
Teen Challenge of Arizona, Inc.