The good fight

Editor:

As we continue to face an opioid issue of epidemic proportion in our community and throughout Ohio, I want to take a moment to highlight the good work that is being done by individuals on the front lines of this fight.

With the message of “Bringing Hope, Bringing Help. Thank You.” this week, across Ohio, communities are holding a series of appreciation activities for front line workers who are fighting the opiate epidemic and helping individuals recover. Additionally, counties are launching County Hubs to Combat Opiate Addiction as called for in the last biennial budget. These hubs will help to expand the local effort in eradicating Ohio’s opioid epidemic. Through our continued community efforts and building on the strengths of our existing partnerships, we will utilize our County Hub to nurture and reinforce county and community efforts to prevent and treat addiction, including opioids; educate youth and adults about opiates and other addictions and recovery; promote family building and workforce development as ways of combating the effects of addiction on communities; and encourage community engagement in efforts to address this present opioid epidemic. For more information or to become involved with the hub, contact the Columbiana County Mental Health & Recovery Services Board at 424-0195.

With the “Bringing Hope, Bringing Help. Thank You.” message, we’re expressing our gratitude to the countless number of individuals who spend their days working tirelessly, in an often thankless role, to help save lives. In addition, these individuals help those that they serve engage in treatment and achieve recovery, support children and families impacted by this disease, promote prevention activities, and build strong, resilient communities.

On April 11 a public gathering was held at the gazebo on the square in Lisbon to acknowledge the people who are working to end the epidemic and the efforts that are being made to prevent and/or treat opioid addiction. In addition, youth volunteers from area 4-H clubs will be delivering “thank you” gifts throughout the week to 48 first responder departments and frontline worker agencies as a token of appreciation for their service and dedication. Although we cannot personally thank everyone who has played a part in battling this epidemic, we want to express our thanks to all who have helped in any way.

Every sector of society is impacted by addiction and this epidemic, and it’s going to take every part of every community to develop a solution to this problem. We need to be certain that we are collectively focusing our community responses from the individual to the public policy level on meeting the needs of individuals and families impacted by addiction in our state. As we launch our County Hub to Combat Opioid Addiction, we’ll be working collaboratively with hubs throughout the state to identify and share successes. Collectively, we’ll build a comprehensive focus on prevention, education, intervention, interdiction, treatment and recovery. Through this work, we’ll continue to bring hope to our community and build the understanding that Treatment Works and Recovery is Possible.

Marcy Patton

Executive director

Columbiana County Mental Health & Recovery Services Board

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