If Utah wants to beat the opioid epidemic, we need Medicaid expansion. I’m proof.

I suffer from bipolar disorder and along the way I developed a severe addiction to opioids. Anyone who has been through it knows that it's almost impossible to quit these drugs on your own, as hard as you might try.

Fortunately, Medicaid covers mental health and substance abuse recovery services. That's how I was able to access treatment for bipolar disorder and get professional help to overcome opioid addiction.

Utah loses over 450 people to opioid overdose each year, and I could easily have been one of them. I'm sure I'd be in jail or dead if I hadn't gotten treatment. Thanks to Medicaid and the quality providers that accept this insurance, including Project Reality in Salt Lake City, I'm clean and sober now for six months and also struggling less with my bipolar symptoms.

I know I will have to stay vigilant, but I'm putting my life back together. I'm proud to say I now have a job and a future. Medicaid is Utah's way of helping people when they need it most. We need to keep this program.

Jamin Oliver, Magna