“It’s very important we end the stigma,” announced Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in regards to the current drug epidemic Ohio, and America is facing.
“It’s important that we help, that we understand. The struggles are real, and there will be many of those struggles for people in addiction. But I’ve seen people come out the other side. They may stumble a few times, but I’ve then seen them soar,” the Governor continued.
For years the great state of Ohio has arguably been ground zero for America’s worst ever drug epidemic. Even with many people doing all they can to fight against the plague of addiction, Ohio has been hit as hard as can be imagined by addiction and overdoses. The ripple effect is far reaching in our communities.
There is a movement though, a movement of people who are dedicated to making the biggest and most positive impact possible. People are putting their foot down and making sure they are proactive in helping.
On September 19th, 2019, roughly 130 churches in the Tuscarawas County area of Ohio stood together for the 2nd annual ”Hope Sunday“. The participating churches started their services by airing a short film called, “The Bridge to Life”. This short film was produced by Tyler King, myself (Erik Frederickson), and Rick Arredondo of The Ezekiel Project in New Philadelphia, Ohio.
After a brief message of encouragement to the faith based community the governor shared a brief message. The faith filled Governor encouraged the body of believers in Ohio, which make up well over half the population of 11.7 million people, with a powerful point, “the faith based community is key, key to helping Ohio become stronger and overcoming this opioid and drug addiction epidemic.”
I have the privilege of speaking all over the state of Ohio, and outside Ohio. I used to ask this question, "By a show of hands how many people in the room have been affected in some way, shape, or form by this drug epidemic?" Most of the room would have their hands raised.
After asking that question a handful of times I found it more effective to ask this question, "Is there anyone in the room that has not been immediately impacted by this drug epidemic?" Few hands are ever raised.
We have a choice and an opportunity in front of us. We face this problem head on and begin to enter into the mess to bring the message of faith, hope, and love, or we continue to avoid it and hand a bigger problem off to the next generation.
Personally, I will do everything in my power to combat this problem with hope and love so that my sons can live in a little more peace.
Who can you intentionally encourage and share hope with today?
If you are interested in being trained in how to make a bigger impact in this fight against addiction we are having a training on Oct 19th. Details here, "Hope Dealers - equipping the church to combat the addiction problem"
Here are some local resources you can contact if need be.
Tuscarawas County and Ohio Area
There are great local resources available.
ADAMHS Board - 330-343-1811
Recovering Reality - Recovery Coaching- firstname.lastname@example.org - 619-880-6935
Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services - 330-339-7791
Ohio number for recovery and mental health resources - 877-275-6364
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