WAYNESVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – Earlier his month, the city of Centerville held a forum to talk about the growing threat of drug abuse in their community.
There were four overdoses in Centerville in all of last year. As of last week, the city had already recorded five since January.
It’s a troubling trend that’s not slowing down.
It’s sparking conversation in many of our cities and towns, including Waynesville.
Before Thursday’s forum in Waynesville, parents and students watched “Chasing The Dragon” a documentary about opioid abuse produced by the DEA and the FBI.
Beth Renner, a speaker at the forum knows first hand the pain of the opioid epidemic.
“I lost him in August of 2016 due to Fentynol. A Fentynol overdose,” said Renner.
She spoke about watching her 22-year-old son, Zach, lost his battle.
Renner wants to put a face to the epidemic.
“I’m sharing my story of loss and heart ache so that hopefully I can save at least one child out there. If I can help another parent out there struggling I’ve won,” said Renner.
Renner believes parents might not understand just how easy it is for kids to get their hands on prescription pain pills and illicit drugs.
“These kids our right here in our own backyard. This isn’t and you or I problem. This is a we and us problem. We have to come together and find solutions together,” said Renner.
Waynesville counselor, Cathy JoeFreda says parents can never be too involved in their children’s lives and can never assume it can’t happen to them.
“They need to ask their child questions, they need to look in their room. They need to know their kids grades,” said JoeFreda.
JoeFreda says small towns are not immune. This isn’t just a big-city problem. It’s affecting people from all walks of life.
“This is a small village and it can happen here just as it could happen in Centerville. It can happen anywhere. It’s not just Dayton or Cincinnati, It can happen.”
Visit this website if you or anyone you know is struggling with opioid addiction.