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Ways of helping addicts

In her book “Painkiller Addict: From Wreckage to Redemption,” author Cathryn Kemp wrote, “I used to think a drug addict was someone who lived on the far edges of society. Wild-eyed, shaven-headed and living in a filthy squat. That was until I became one…”

If you were to ask any person in Lawrence County who struggles with substance abuse if he or she ever thought they would become addicted to drugs, the answer would probably be similar to Kemp’s response. No one looks in the mirror and says, “I’m going to be an addict one day.”

Yet, opioid overdoses have quadrupled nationally since 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control, with Ohio second in the country for drug overdose deaths in 2014.

But there are people in our local community who are fighting back and a couple events are slated for this weekend to raise awareness to the cause.

Tonight, there will be an addiction awareness event from 6-8 p.m. at Ohio University Southern’s Bowman Auditorium. There will be speakers from various recovery centers and other members of the community will share their perspectives on addiction.

On Saturday, Riverside Recovery Services in Chesapeake will have a family fun day at Chesapeake Park in hopes of educating the public about the center’s services while providing an option for sober fun for people of all ages.

More people in Lawrence County need help with addiction than want to admit it. Events like these serve as a way for those people, as well as their family and friends, to learn more about ways addicts can get help without feeling stigmatized for doing so.

No one should ever be ashamed of asking for help. Especially when the situation is either life of death.