“We’re trying to do a little bit of everything for whoever wants to come in,” Silvus said.
A record 86 people are suspected to have died from a drug overdose this year, including 66 confirmed deaths — the majority of which involve illicit fentanyl that’s 50 to 100 times more powerful than heroin, Clark County Coroner Dr. Richard Marsh said.
Clark County has seen nearly 800 overdoses this year, including 620 in Springfield, according to statistics provided by Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson.
READ MORE: Clark County schools make changes due to drug crisis, 1 stocks Narcan
The need for support in Clark County is great, especially for those families who are still being quiet about how they’re being affected by addiction, Silvus said. A lot of people don’t want to say anything about addiction being a part of their family, she said, especially those who have custody of children.
“If they know it’s here, maybe they will come,” Silvus said.
The location was previously known as the Many Pathways Recovery Center, which closed earlier this year. The Springfield chapter of the Families of Addicts group recently received at $28,000 grant from the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Clark, Greene and Madison Counties to operate the center.
The organization has spent the past few weekends performing upgrades to the building, including painting.
Springfield resident and recovering addict Michael Lemmings painted a hand-drawn mural in the facility’s entryway. He was previously a member at the former Many Pathways, he said.
“It was a good place then but I’m excited to see what it’s about now,” Lemmings said. “It’s not just a hangout spot. This building has a purpose.”
Lemmings attends the weekly meetings where he hears from both addicts and family members, he said.
RELATED: Clark County leaders glad to hear Trump call drug crisis an emergency
“We get to hear where they stand,” Lemmings said.
He was happy to contribute to a facility he believes will help many more addicts and family members in the future.
“I like to draw and paint so when she asked me to do it, I was happy to do it,” Lemmings said. “I was excited to get to do something like that.”
He’s been clean for seven months after using drugs for 12 years, he said. Recovery is an ongoing journey, Lemmings said.
“It’s difficult,” he said. “This side is better. It’s better to wake up happy and see your family every day.”
SPRINGFIELD’S OPIOID WAR
Drug crisis traumatizing children in Clark County, state
Money used to fight Clark County drug crisis at risk
Overdose deaths in Clark County could reach record high by summer
Springfield examines officer, medic safety after Ohio police overdose
20 more overdoses in Clark County during 25-hour stretch
Clark County sees another big spike of at least 40 overdoses in 5 days
Clark County leaders pledge to fight addiction stigma, OD crisis
Clark County to charge addicts who OD and don’t seek treatment
Overdose epidemic spreads, strains Springfield first responders
Clark County drug overdoses double in 24-hour spike
About this series: Springfield’s Opioid War
The Springfield News-Sun has written extensively about opioid and heroin problems in Clark County in the past five years, including stories about multiple overdoses in one weekend and efforts to expand treatment options. This year, the News-Sun will take a deep dive into the community’s opioid epidemic and what local officials are doing to solve the problem.
HOW TO GO
Who: Families of Addicts
What: Bridge of Support Grand Opening
When: 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday
Where: 50 W. High St.
BY THE NUMBERS
$28,000: Grant provided to FOA to operate downtown center.
86: Unconfirmed, suspected drug deaths so far this year, a record number
66: Confirmed drug deaths in 2017
800: Estimated number of drug overdoses in Clark County this year