Sept. 9, 2023 – Ashley Kibler, 31, is a recovering addict whose story of recovery and redemption took her from homelessness to working toward her degree at Ferris State University.

Originally from Cedar Springs, Kibler was introduced to drugs and alcohol in high school, which continued more acutely when she began college.

“I experienced drugs and alcohol right away, and I was partying at the time, hanging out with friends, doing the party scene,” Kibler said. “At some point, I crossed an invisible line of ‘it’s no longer party and it’s no longer fun.’ It (became) addiction. I’d say about five years ago, it was then I realized that I had crossed that invisible line and when I started recovery. I went to a couple of different rehabs, Ten16 being the most recent.”

According to The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in 2020, there were 2,759 deaths due to drug poisonings in Michigan. Of these deaths, 69.8% involved synthetic opioids other than methadone.

Reported primary substance use problem varies by age group, and in individuals 18 to 24 years old, alcohol is connected to substance abuse among 30% of that age group.