DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A drug recovery program that links addicts with treatment facilities is celebrating a year in the Miami Valley.
The Grow Initiative started on the east side of Dayton one year ago, in April, because of the high number of overdoses in that area.
But since then, the program has expanded to cover several other local communities, in response the rising number of overdoses across the Miami Valley, month after month and year after year.
Addiction Resource Officer Jason Olson explained, after receiving reports of an addict who survived an overdose, a team will visit their home within the following week, in an attempt to connect them with a treatment facility.
“We’re watching people go into treatment and turn their lives around,” Olson said.
Bruce Langos, Chairman of the Montgomery County Drug Free Coalition said sometimes, that treatment is immediate.
“If they want, we will take them right then,” Langos said.
“If they offer that yes they are interested. We’ll put them in a car and drive them right to the addiction services facility right at that minute.”
Olson said the initiative started out as a part time job but “at the end of 2016, going into 2017, this has become my full time job”.
Recognizing the need for addicts to get help, the Montgomery County Drug Free Coalition took the grow initiative under its wing and has expanded it to several other areas, over the last year.
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said it’s seen more than 300 deaths, this past year, as a result of drug overdoses.
Langos said: “It operates today in Harrison Township, Washington Township. We trained grow teams in Riverside, Huber Heights, Vandalia, and Miamisburg and we’re continuing to deploy more teams throughout Montgomery County.”
The teams are all volunteer based.
Olson noted the opioid crisis affects everyone.
“I don’t think there are very many people in the city of Dayton… that have not been affected either by a family member of friend,” he said.
If you or anyone you know needs recovery assistance, the coalition can be contacted at 937-225-4357 during normal business hours. After hours, you can contact the Heroin Helpline at 937-853-4343.
You can visit their website at mcdrugfree.org.