GREENE COUNTY — Judge Beth Root of the Fairborn Municipal Court is organizing a community forum to address a drug problem in the area that she said “has just skyrocketed” within the last two years.
“It doesn’t decrease,” Root said, talking about heroin and opiate usage in the area. “What I keep seeing is an increase. A substantial increase.”
The informational session on the topic of drug usage in the area will be open to the public and will start at 7 p.m., August 7 at Beavercreek Church of the Nazarene, 1850 N. Fairfield Road, Beavercreek. Root is working with Dr. Kent Youngman, CEO of the Mental Health and Recovery Board for Greene, Madison and Clark Counties, to organize the event.
The event will feature several local speakers including Director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Orman Hall; Greene County Coroner Dr. Kevin Sharrett; Xenia Community Schools Superintendent Pro Tem Denny Morrison; Ed Hatton, a parent who lost a child to heroin; David Messier, a recovering addict; and Pastor Greg Delaney.
A question and answer session will follow the presenters. Greene Memorial Hospital and Soin Medical Center will provide refreshments as well.
Root is hoping the session will be a launching point toward raising awareness of the problem in the area.
“The problem is here,” she said. “It’s not somebody else’s problem. It really is our problem.”
Root knew of two heroin overdose deaths in the last three weeks and five heroin addicted babies born in the same week in the last month. She also knew of four overdoses in Beavercreek that resulted in death in the last month.
“Heroin is just a different drug from any other drug I’ve ever seen,” she said. “It’s a terrible drug. Opiate addiction is one of the hardest addictions to beat, and heroin is the very worst.”
Root said hopefully the forum will be a launching point to helping people before they get into court trouble.
Nathan Pilling is a reporter who covers Greene County agencies and organizations. You can find him on Twitter at @XDGNatePilling or you can call him at 937-372-4444 ext. 130.