For many people struggling with addiction, accepting you need help can be the hardest step toward recovery.

Members of the Hamilton County Coalition are working to make it easier for drug users.

Michael Meriweather, Mental Health and Behavioral Navigator at Hamilton County Coalition, starts his mornings with a list from the Chattanooga Police Department. 

The list contains the names of people who have recently overdosed.

"I call them and try to find them, go out to where they live and try to encourage them to get help," Meriweather.

It's part of a new program called Nu-Start.

The Hamilton County Coalition started the program in February.

"We just kind of lovingly and caringly let them know we care about you and if you want your life to be different, let us try to help you with that," Meriweather said.

Meriweather said he's seen the impact drug use can have on people's bodies, including the brain.

"The addicted brain does not light up, it's not an active brain unless the substance is in the brain whereas the healthy brain, a good conversation, a family outing, anything enjoyable will light up portions of that brain," Meriweather said.

However, he said brains can heal over time if people decide to start a clean lifestyle.

It's a process he said doesn't come easy.

"It's about trying to convince them that they are worth the effort for treatment," Meriweather said. "I mean I'm a stranger to them, but letting them know what we can do for them if they are willing, at no charge many people will say okay, I'm tired of this lifestyle, sign me up."