BY D’ARCY EGAN
The Ottawa County Drug-Free Collaborative marked International Overdose Awareness Day on Friday, Aug. 30 on the lawn at the Ottawa County Courthouse. The program speakers were thankful that fewer people had died in the past year around the Ottawa County, but very aware that there is much more to be done in the battle against opioid addiction.
“On behalf of the Ottawa County Drug-Free Collaborative, I want to show our gratitude for those who are here today to acknowledge this important mission,” said Ottawa County Commissioner Mark Stahl. “The International Overdose and Awareness Day and specifically the Ottawa County Awareness Day are so important to combating the problem.”
Stahl pointed to silhouettes that were set up in recognition of the six men and women from Ottawa County that had died in the past year. While it was a reduction from 2017, even one death is too many, said Stahl.
“Overdose deaths shatter families, friends and communities,” said Stahl. “We must remember those who have died and those in recover in order to assure a healthy community is in Ottawa County’s future.”
Moderator Margaret Osborne, a contract manager with the Ottawa County Family & Children First Council, introduced the many public officials and treatment experts.
“It is important that we recognized all of us here who are in addiction recovery today,” said Executive Director Kenn Bower Jr. of Lighthouse Sober Living, which maintains homes for recovering men and women in Port Clinton. “I also want to drive home that it is extremely worthwhile that those of you who are not in recovery are supporting those of us who are.”
Bower closed the program with a Remembrance Walk to Lighthouse Sober Living’s Men’s Home just a few blocks away in order to spotlight the programs that are working to help those addicted to opioids.