MIAMI COUNTY — In 2015, 18 people died of heroin or opiate-related deaths in Miami County.
In 2016, 10 people have died of heroin or opiate-related overdoses.
With heroin addiction claiming lives at a more rapid rate, local officials and community members are rounding up the county’s resources for an event to help the addict, the family and the community this summer.
Upper Room Worship Center Senior Pastor Aaron Simmons is leading the committee to coordinate resources for the first Hope Over Heroin event. The two-day event will be held at the Miami County Fairgrounds on July 8-9, and will feature recovery resources for addicts, family members and community members.
“All of the churches are coming together and all of the resources for the county — the drug courts, social services, Miami County Recovery Council, Tri-County Mental Health — everybody who provides services to addicts will be there coming together to help lead addicts to freedom and then connect them with treatment, counseling and services they may need,” Simmons said.
Simmons said volunteers will meet with those seeking help at the event to connect them with services for physical, mental and spiritual outreach.
“We’ll be praying with people and then we will connect them with a local church and to services that they need, whether it be counseling, treatment, some type of recovery program,” Simmons said. “It’s all of us coming together — faith-based and non-faith-based services — to ultimately set free addicts in our county.”
Simmons said outreach groups will canvass communities to reach out to addicts and their families to spread the message of hope and healing before, during and after the event.
Hope Over Heroin kicks off Friday, July 8, at 7 p.m. at the fairgrounds. Saturday’s events will include a cookout lunch around noon, and family and children’s activities throughout the afternoon. Also on Saturday, a memory and awareness walk will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the main event to begin at 7 p.m. at the grandstands.
Simmons said the event will also feature a memorial with photos of those who lost their battle with addiction.
Hope Over Heroin is a Cincinnati-faith based organization which formed after 14 deaths from heroin overdose occurred in one week in Hamilton County in 2014.
If you would like to volunteer, donate or would like more information on how to participate, email Pastor Simmons at [email protected] Donations also can be made at any Fifth Third Bank branch or visit the Hope Over Heroin website at www.hopeoverheroin.com and designate a donation to the Troy event.
Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews