Working toward a solution

Published 8:33 am Thursday, February 15, 2018

As Ohio continues to battle the scourge of the opioid epidemic, many are in need of places to turn to for support.

Efforts to combat the problem are coming from many sources, from government intitiatives, to local recovery centers, and the work of those in the community.

Next Saturday, a local church will be doing its part, by hosting a conference for those dealing with addiction and family members coping with the problem.

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The Love Them to Life conference will take place at First Baptist Church in Proctorville from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Feb. 24 and is endorsed by Tri-State Bible College in South Point.

According to Chad Shaffer, a former state trooper and member of the church, First Baptist is expanding its ministry into the area of helping those with addiction.

He said a goal of the conference is, not just to reach out to addicts and families, but to also establish communication with other churches and help them to start anti-drug programs in their communities.

For more information on the topic, visit The website is run by Joe and Cherri Freeman. Mr. Freeman battled addiction for 38 years before getting clean, while Cherri wrote a book about the family’s experience and how she dealt. The two will be speakers at the event and their website provides many resources on the issue.

As Shaffer told The Tribune, the solution to the crisis is not going to come from simply arresting addicts.

Treatment is key and outreach to addicts and families, whether through secular or spiritual efforts, and is much needed in Lawrence County.

We encourage all who can to attend this event and to consider what they can do beyond the conference.

It is our hope that this will begin the process of building a stronger network to help residents here make inroads in beating this problem which has held our community hostage for far too long.