Participants at the Your Voice Ohio opioid forum in Washington Court House Feb. 19 answered questions about the opioid crisis in the community.
More than 30 comments were recorded in response to the question, ‘What does the opioid epidemic look like in your community?’
Here are some of those comments as they were written by the responders:
· Overwhelming. Community that needs help. Lack of good resources to help combat epidemic in positive ways. Nowhere to turn as a concerned citizens. Need for collaboration. Lots of awareness.
· Many people are using. Many are in jail serving time but don’t get rehab. Many thefts. Too many deaths.
· The opioid epidemic isn’t too good. From tearing families apart and loved ones dyeing. Some people that are using don’t realize that what they are choosing to do also effects their family members as well as themselves. Everywhere you go there are people begging others for money to help their needs. It starts out younger and younger. Teens are told that their going to end up just like their parents and most of the time that’s all they know.
· Everybody is affected (all ages, careers). Negativity. Violence.
· Over taking our citizens by a storm and spilling out to our youth.
An increased number of responses totaling over 40 were received to the question, ‘What do you see as causes of the opioid epidemic in our community?’
· Lack of nothing for the kids to have anything to do. Peer pressures. Lack of resources to get the proper help needed. Steal.
· Lack of education in youth. Prescribers not following CDC guidelines of opiate prescribing. Lack of resources (we have, just helping people know where it’s at). Stigma surrounding treatment. Closure of “pill mills.”
· Family tree issue (“generational”) useàuseàuse. Lack of education. Socially acceptable, “bars,” leads to additional use. Mental illness. Lack of community activities. Over medicated, over diagnosis.
· How you was raised, like in an addictive home (parents using around children). Who you surround yourself around (people who use). Availability of drugs. Prescriptions.
When asked, ‘What steps might we take to combat the opioid epidemic in our community?’, several people said more education and prevention is needed in the community.
Responses to that question included:
· Youth counseling. Positive environment. More activities. Adult interaction and free recovery. Place and people to turn to when in need. More recovery resources. Love. God.
· Education the community, adults and children. Have more places (recovery and shelters). Have understanding. More family involvement.
· Community education!! Prevention with youth. Acceptance. Accessibility of information. Getting leaders and influencers on the same page. Recovering addicts speaking out. Family help.
· Keeping the conversation going!! Mental health education. Helping people find their voice and become their own advocate. Life skills education.
Contact Ashley by phone at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton and sending a message.