“We’re here to listen, to find out the gaps and find areas where we can provide some training,” Heffernan said. “We’re in this for the long haul. We really want to see this thing through.”
Faces and Voices also chose four Recovery Community Organizations from Minneapolis, Minn.; Manchester, N.H.; Philadelphia; and Greenville, S.C., to assist the four other communities. Recovery Community Organizations are nonprofits led by people in recovery that offer advocacy activities, community education, outreach programs and peer-based recovery support services, according to their website.
RELATED: Clark County to educate patients about pain pill alternatives
“Mentorship helps,” Heffernan said. “It’s not necessarily telling you what to do, but it’s essentially, ‘We’re a little further up the road, we can give you some suggestions, ideas and potholes not to fall in as you build your community up.’”
Springfield FOA members spoke out about a lack of education about addiction in the community. They also spoke about the stigma of doing things outside of traditional groups.
The community needs more organizations like Families of Addicts that can help people in recovery after they finish treatment, said Springfield resident Tim Derr, who recently cycled across the country to raise awareness about substance abuse.
“People are more aware of what’s going on so it’s a perfect opportunity for change,” he said. “People are fed up. … Since I’ve been back, people are really open to wanting to make a difference.”
Treatment is an event, Heffernan said, while recovery is a lifelong process that’s different for everyone.
“The idea that treatment is recovery is part of what we’re here to change,” he said. “Treatment can be a pathway to recovery, an introduction to that system.”
RELATED: Springfield man cycles 3,300 miles across America to promote recovery
Communities don’t have to re-invent the wheel when it comes to helping people here in long-term recovery, said Fred Martin, a former project manager with the PRO-ACT Recovery Training Center in Philadelphia. The organization has six centers that helps put a face on the recovery community, he said. They’ve borrowed models from other communities and implemented them in Philadelphia, he said.
“You’re doing fantastic things here and people are doing fantastic things across the country,” Martin said. “What we all have to is take a look at what they’re doing and tweak it to our liking.”
SPRINGFIELD’S OPIOID WAR
‘Perfect’ Springfield couple battles addictions, finds recovery
Progress made against drug overdoses in Clark County but war not over
Clark County leaders: Drug ‘emergency’ first step, more action needed
Clark County Jail inmates to learn about life after addiction
DeWine: ‘Never seen anything like’ drug crisis hitting Ohio
Churches unite to open recovery house in Springfield for addicts
Springfield hospital grant will increase screenings to battle opioids
Springfield native living clean, successful after prison, addiction
Addicts, family members share stories at Springfield recovery banquet
More prevention needed to curb opioid epidemic in Springfield
New program seeks to reach Clark County overdose patients, save lives
Safe houses for Springfield overdose patients might save lives
Drug epidemic wreaking havoc on Clark County businesses, economy
Drug crisis traumatizing children in Clark County, state
Money used to fight Clark County drug crisis at risk
More than 100 Clark County law enforcement officers to get Narcan kits
Springfield examines officer, medic safety after Ohio police overdose
Demand for, debate over Narcan soars in Springfield
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
The Springfield News-Sun has written extensively about opioid and drug problems in Clark County in the past five years, including stories about multiple overdoses in one weekend and efforts to expand treatment options. The News-Sun will continue to take a deep dive into the community’s drug epidemic and what local leaders are doing to solve the problem.
Your Voice Ohio forums on the drug crisis will be held throughout the region. All sessions are free to attend, but because of limited seating, people are asked to RSVP online. To register go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-opioid-epidemic-in-dayton-tickets-42137498392
Dayton — 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, Main Library, 215 E. Third St.
Middletown — 6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 12, MidPointe Library, 125 S. Broad St.
East Cincinnati — 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 13, Madisonville Recreation Center, 5320 Stewart Ave., Cincinnati.
Wilmington — 1 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 18, Wilmington Municipal Building, 69 N. South St.
Washington Court House — 6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 19, The Lafayette Room, 133 S. Fayette St. South.