Obviously we need tougher initiatives stopping the dealers especially when you can realistically state on average at least two houses (mostly rentals) selling on each street thru out the Columbus Westside. We need tougher Judges in putting the dealers away. I understand we have overcrowded prisons but we need to think outside the box on handling these dealers. Heck, I’d ban them from living in the state. Ship them out. LOL, sarcasm aside, if you make the product harder to obtain, people addicted to these products will be forced to reevaluate what they are going to do and hopefully seek drug counseling services. Once here Counseling services need to step up and not focus so much on the stopping of the addiction but to find out what circumstances mental or otherwise have caused the addiction to begin with. This opens up a whole other door about providing adequate health and mental services for everyone as truthfully we all have been raised in an addictive society with doctors and the pharmaceutical industry pushing drugs down our throats from the day we are born. It takes a strong mind and character from the onset to maneuver around this constant bombardment from the doctors, pharmaceutical companies and especially the daily barrage of advertisements encouraging us to take pills for everything from gas, pain, too much hair to too little hair. Unfortunately, not everyone has this strong mind and character for a variety of reasons – Why? Perhaps if we find out, we can finally curb this and all drug epidemics!
Hope Over Heroin gathering brings hundreds for addiction help to Dodge Park
By Mike Huson
The Columbus Dispatch • Saturday August 20, 2016 5:08 AM
When Christina Littler learned last week that she nearly lost one of her legs due to an infection that had set in from repeatedly plunging syringes into the back of her right knee, she knew she had to make a change.
She knew she had to kick her heroin addiction. And she knew she would need help.
“I’ve been to rehab seven times,” Littler, 25, of the Hilltop, said. “But this time I have to. I’m going to die. And I need to be here for my 2-year-old daughter.”
She joined several hundred Ohioans Friday at Dodge Park in Franklinton for the first of a two-day “Hope Over Heroin” event, a faith-based gathering that offers freeheroin-addiction support to the public, along with food and live music.
Hope Over Heroin launched in summer 2014, after more than 14 deaths from heroin overdoses in a single week in Hamilton County in southwest Ohio, according to the group’s’ website.
That year, 2,531 Ohio residents died from unintentional drug overdoses, a 20 percent increase from the year before, according to an Ohio Department of Health report. Heroin accounted for about 47 percent of those deaths.
Since then, the Cincinnati-based movement has gone mobile, bringing its mission to end heroin addiction to cities throughout Ohio, as well as parts of Kentucky and Indiana.
The Rev. Jeff Leslie, of Judah Tabernacle on the South Side, joined other pastors and volunteers onstage Friday to offer hope and motivation to the crowd.
“We want the community to come to the awareness of the epidemic of heroin that is here, and offer the opportunity to get freedom from that and not have to stay in that condition,” he said.
To Leslie, faith in a higher power offers a powerful partner on the road to recovery.
About 30 churches participated in the Dodge Park event, helping connect addicts with on-hand representatives from 35 rehab and detoxification services.
Access to resources, however, wasn’t restricted based on spirituality or religion.
Ohio Addiction Recovery Center CEO Josh Butcher was there, offering his organization’s non-faith-based services to recovering addicts.
After eight years of sobriety from heroin, Butcher said he appreciates the importance of assistance in recovery, regardless of its connection with spirituality.
“In recovery, it’s about helping another addict, so if I see someone struggling, I’m going to give them the tools for the knowledge that I have,” he said. “Whether they decide to use it is up to them.”
Littler, who is not religious, huddled with volunteers for a group prayer after being blessed near one of the four large baptismal pools by the stage.
She said she plans to again attempt to detoxify and rehabilitate at a center in Gahanna starting Monday, this time, with the Lord watching over her.
Hope Over Heroin will continue Saturday at Dodge Park, 667 Sullivant Ave. The event, which begins at 7 p.m., will be preceded by a prayer march and memorial at 5:30 p.m.