CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WTVO) — The number of opioid overdoses in Illinois in up by over 2%, and one group is fighting to reverse that.

The Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network met with healthcare officials and first responders from across the state in Champaign on Wednesday. The event focused on how to fight addiction in rural areas.

One man who spoke said that while he was prominent in his hometown, no one knew he was struggling behind closed doors.

“Throughout all that, I hit a pretty chaotic addiction. It’s funny, I get emotional still to this day. It’s tough,” said Luke Tomsha of the Perfectly Flawed Foundation. “I think a lot of people don’t understand what people are going through. There’s so much stigma out there and there’s so much shame, criminalizing people when we should be supporting them.”

There were over twice the amount of opioid overdose fatalities than homicides in Illinois last year.