Fayette County community uniting to fight opioid epidemic

The opioid epidemic has a tight grip here in central Ohio. Medical professionals, politicians, and treatment experts are stepping up their efforts to address the problem. Not only are these drugs destroying thousands of lives, but families as well. (WSYX/WTTE)

The opioid epidemic has a tight grip here in central Ohio.

Medical professionals, politicians, and treatment experts are stepping up their efforts to address the problem. Not only are these drugs destroying thousands of lives, but families as well.

ABC6 was given the opportunity to sit in on a unique session in Fayette County aimed at pinpointing what can be done to address the issue.

The opioid epidemic hitting small-town America hard. In Washington Court House, it’s having a devastating effect. ABC6 spoke with some of those battling addiction and their families as they try to help a community find a solution.

“Everybody in recovery only has today, this moment. Because at any time you can fall off the wagon,” said recovering heroin addict Carla Doctor.

For Doctor, recovery is an everyday struggle. She told ABC6 that it is not a simple process. Only a prison sentence was able to get her back on the right track.

“I was addicted to heroin for 10 years, and today I have 14 months clean. They call it a spiritual awakening in the meetings I go to and I believe I had that,” said Doctor.

Doctor is now one of those in Fayette County hoping to foster change. She took part in a recent forum in conjunction with "Your Voice Ohio.” The event brought together addicts, families and health experts. All telling their stories, lending their expertise. Kathy Woodford, Doctor's mother told ABC 6 that she has been there every step of the way for her daughter. Thankful she’s on the road to recovery.

“Without my child I’m nothing. She’s my life, she’s my life,” said Woodford.

Jeffersonville mayor, Bob Kinzer told ABC 6 that the problem is so vast in his community, businesses are having a hard time finding job candidates who can pass drug tests.

“There is hope. It’s going to be tough, you got to break the cycle,” said Kinzer.

Doctor told her story in hopes of inspiring someone else who is looking to break the chains of addiction.

“I felt like I could give somebody hope, that they can make it if they really want to. One day at a time. that’s all you can do. One day at a time,” said Doctor.

The fight against this issue is certainly an emotional battle for many across the state of Ohio. The focus in the Fayette County community is continuing the effort to ease this problem and hopefully save lives.

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