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East House: Helping People Struggling With Addiction

The organization's president wants the community understand addiction is a disease.
East House President Greg Soehner has been a bit frustrated by the media frenzy surrounding the death of actor Philip Seymour.

"Our community, our society is ignorant about addiction as a disease," said Soehner.

East House has extensive treatment programs for people struggling to overcome addiction, including inpatient beds.  There are always more people seeking help than East House can accommodate.

"We get 1,000 people who want to come into our services a year we can take 250," Soehner said.

Soehner disliked media reports saying Hoffman was struggling with "demons." 

"People blame the person with the disease by saying they're weak, they're morally corrupt, they have demons...what is this the middle ages?"

Soehner said. "This is a disease. This is a disease Philip Seymour Hoffman struggled with his whole life. It's an illness and he died of that illness."

Soehner wishes there were more resources devoted to fighting addiction. He said the spotlight on heroin deaths will fade. The problem has been around for many years.

The East House helped Wille Torres piece his life back together. He was on heroin and cocaine for 26 years, but has been clean for nearly four years.

"Every day, every minute counts for me," Torres said.
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