MILWAUKEE -- Concordia University students tackled the tough issue of how to stop the heroin epidemic during an event called "Face to Face with Heroin" on Saturday, April 8th. The day-long event involved speakers, interactive displays and real-life stories about addiction.
"It's hard, it's hard to think about," said Carrie Robinson, organizer.
Walking through the hallways at Concordia University, you'll find shoes hanging from the ceilings.
"It's representing someone who has lost a life from heroin," said Robinson.
It's a visual depiction of an epidemic plaguing Wisconsin.
Carrie Robinson is a student who helped organize the event.
"All these people were normal people, living a normal life and something changed and they passed away or they're struggling really hard," said Robinson.
It's an issue everyone from lawmakers to law enforcement is tackling.
"We're only part of the solution, we're not the entire solution," said FBI Intelligence Analyst, John Kumm.
John Kumm is an FBI analyst; he has seen the heroin problem grow rapidly since 2009.
"The only way to stop and prevent heroin use is to reduce demand," said Kumm.
Panels of experts led discussions, but it may be the words of one lawmaker that left a lasting impact.
"It's a day-to-day fight and there are good days and there are bad days," said State Representative John Nygren.
State Representative John Nygren shared his story of dealing with his daughter's addiction for the last decade.
"The more people realize it could happen to them, the fewer people become addicted," said Nygren.
A room filled with people trying to make a change -- even when it seems daunting.
"I think we're heading in the right direction, but it's a battle," said Nygren.