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Ala. Attorney General speaks about mental health and dependency struggles of the late woman



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<p>  "That's tough," said Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Wednesday, when he was confronted at the rostrum of his hometown Baptist church in rural Alabama with news cameras and dozens of people thirteen days ago by his wife, Bridgette Marshall, 45. [1<div class=
9659003] The cause, Marshall said, was suicide. But that was not his focus.

"What we want to focus on is the story of her life," he said flanked by family members who sometimes stood with their heads bowed and weeping softly.

In fact, he said he was "forced to be here today" after his family learned about the death of his wife in Tennessee.

Marshall said these reports angered him. But then he and his family came to the realization.

"It might be helpful if we were transparent about how we got to the point where we were last Sunday," he said. "Because we know that we are not the only family dealing with a family member who suffers from mental health problems, and we know that Bridgette is not the only person who has ever considered suicide."

Marshall began by describing his wife suffered from debilitating migraine from an early age.

She sought medical help and was eventually prescribed oxycodone, then fentanyl – "an amazingly potent drug," he said.

"And Bridgette became dependent."

Again, she sought help and went to hospital.

"But until her death, she did not always treat her medication as she should," Marshall said. "It's a reason why you hear me speak professionally about Opioide, it's personal."

Marshall serves as Co-Chairman of Governor Kay Ivey Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council.

In recent years, Alabama has won first place in the nation per capita for opioid prescriptions. In 2016, according to a Council report, there were 121 recipes per 100 people. This is more than a recipe for every man, woman and child in Alabama.

The Council – and Marshall – are working to contain these figures through a multi-pronged approach involving community prevention, treatment and response. As the report acknowledges, drug abuse disorders are complex.

"I lived it and I watched it and I saw how it destroyed it in many ways," he said of his wife's fight [19659003]. Under the Trump administration, the Ministry of Justice approved the National Opioid Epidemic made a core issue.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced DOJ's progress on a nationwide "opioid takedown" in connection with healthcare fraud

According to Sessions, since January 2017, more than 400 doctors and other medical personnel have been charged with opioid-related crime. 16 of these doctors illegally prescribed more than 20.3 million tablets.

Marshall did not elaborate on the history of his wife's opioid application.

The Centers for Disease Control notes that substance abuse can be a contributory factor in suicide. 19659003] Earlier this month, the CDC released strong numbers on suicide, saying that rates have risen in almost every state in recent years.

In 2016, 45,000 people lost their lives through suicide.

Suicide opponents, including cook and television presenter Anthony Bourdain and designer Kate Spade, have also brought the issue to the fore.

"Mental health is often considered a cause of suicide," the CDC said, "but suicide is rare."

In fact, many people who have taken their own lives have no diagnosed mental health problems, according to the CDC ,

Marshall also told his wife, "suffered from a depressive disorder and Anxi et al."

He said that because she was anxious, it was difficult to be in public, and he wondered if it would be otherwise would have been if he had not become Attorney General.

"I will be haunted" For the rest of my life, "he said.

Bridgette Gentry Marshall was born on 6 June 1973 in Boaz, AL, according to the obituary on the McRae Funeral Homes website. [19659003] She was a housewife and worked as a hospice volunteer.

The funeral is scheduled for Friday.

Marshall said he felt compelled to publicize the story of a woman who never wanted to be a public figure.

"And we do not share that lightly, because it is the most personal secret of this family," he

"It is our hope today to share our history, to empower even those families who have endured what we have suffered, and maybe for the person Bridgette did on Sunday morning, that there is hope, and that there are people who love her.

If you or someone you know thinks about suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273- 8255 (En Español: 1-888 Deaf and Hearing Impaired: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line via SMS 741741.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.hp.com/ : //www.npr.org/.

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