Honoring those lost, and offering hope (WITH GALLERY)

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 4, 2021

Land of Goshen hosts ‘Somebody’s Someone’ event on overdose crisis

People gathered at the Ironton Farmers Market on Thursday to remember those lost to overdoses and to reach out to those struggling in the addiction epidemic.

Land of Goshen Treatment Center hosted “Somebody’s Someone,” which allowed people to share their recovery stories and community and treatment groups to connect with the public, while memorializing those who have died from overdoses.

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Allison Mouery, director for Cocoon, Land of Goshen’s harm reduction group, said the event was community outreach.

“Lawrence County is leading the state in overdose deaths,” she said.

Land of Goshen has a women’s unit and outpatient unit in Ironton and a men’s unit in Malta, in Morgan County.

The group has been working in Lawrence County for about six years, Mouery said, stating the group is working to “bridge the gap” between addiction and recovery.

So far, in 2021, the death rate from overdoses in Lawrence County is 57.2 per 100,000 residents, Dennis Cauchon, president of Harm Reduction Ohio, who was in attendance at the event, said.

Ranked in second was Vinton County, at 53.5, and Scioto County, third, at 49.1.

Last week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declared Aug. 31 as Overdose Awareness Day in the state.

Tim Craft, an addiction counselor who works at Land of Goshen, was one of the speakers at the event. He said he lost his sister to an overdose in 2013.

“This is to remember people we lost,” he said. “We’re trying to do a lot to bring awareness to that.”

He said he hoped Thursday’s event could connect people with the resources they needed.

“If all of this was to help one person, it would be worth it,” he said.

When he was speaking, Craft asked those who had survived an overdose to gather in front of the stage.

The sight was “very moving,” said Sallie Schisler, priest in charge at Christ Episcopal Church, who was attending.

“This is a great event,” she said, adding that she was there to network with other groups and individuals focused on the issue.

One group set up was Focus Residential Group, based in Franklin Furnace.

Stacie Owens, with the group, said they provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and provide full residence and beds to those who take part.

“And we do inpatient and outpatient service,” he said

Amy Salyers, co-owner of Land of Goshen, addressed the crowd, reminding them to “stop and smell the roses” in life.

“Very rarely do we stop to smell the roses and, sometimes, we’re pushing up daisies before we smell them,” she said.

She offered encouragement to all who we there, telling them “nothing can separate you from the love of God.”

Mouery said, following Thursday’s event, the group will continue to host meetings with the community, as they did last week in South Point, where they provided Narcan, bags of toiletries, needed items and informational resources.

She said the group will return to that site, at the Country Hearth Inn lot, from noon-4 p.m. on Sept. 17.