Avon Lake, OH, January 10, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- Ignoring freezing weather, Lorain County residents chose to attend Avon Lake High School for the city’s third address on drug abuse, a growing problem throughout Ohio. This growing drug abuse trend—especially the abuse of heroin—prompted Mayor Zilka to launch a local "war on drugs" to combat the issue and protect Lorain County citizens.
The drug abuse forum featured several guest speakers including Avon Lake Schools Superintendent Robert Scott and several of the district’s counselors, teachers, and coaches, as well as professionals in the drug testing and rehabilitative industries.
“People are shocked when they hear that Avon Lake has a problem with drugs and alcohol, but we do,” Scott said. “No community is really immune to this ongoing issue and it’s a lot harder now for students to resist the temptation of drugs and alcohol than it was in the past. It’s up to us as a community and school district to put in place programs, resources, and positive role models for students to be successful in school and out of school.”
“Identifying the signs of drug abuse is critical in stopping the deadly downward spiral,” says Karen Kitchen, with USA Mobile Drug Testing of Cleveland. “We sometimes receive calls from distraught parents who want to drug test their children, but aren’t comfortable doing it themselves or depending on over the counter kits which are often unreliable. We’re happy to help them find the answers they need, but I think the biggest value we bring to these situations is often moral support.” She adds, “The most important thing is to maintain open communication between parents and children to prevent the situation in the first place, but if you do find out that a child or loved one is abusing drugs, you need to get them into a professional treatment program.”
Tom Stuber, CEO of Lorain County Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services (LCADA) commended the City of Avon Lake for bringing the difficult and painful matter to light, and for being among the first community in the state to take preventative measures against drug and alcohol abuse.
“I really want to applaud Avon and Avon Lake City Schools for all they’re doing with this issue,” Stuber said. “Drug and alcohol addiction is affecting are young people now more than ever before. It’s because of the city’s efforts that a lot of people are getting the help that they deserve.”
Commenting on the county’s large and growing challenge with drug and alcohol addiction, Joel Reichlin, a preventative specialist for LCADA, said “When you’ve got 23 overdoses in 48 hours, there’s definitely a problem. I know the schools are doing all they can to give students the tools to be successful and make good decisions, but the schools are not with the kids all the time and it’s up to parents and community members to establish an open line of communication with our youth. The most important thing I think we can do is establish a relationship with our students and kids.”
Ohio’s Attorney General, Mike DeWine, announced that his office is helping in the fight against drug abuse by launching a heroin-focused unit which will assist in the addiction and overdose prevention effort consisting of lawyers, investigators, and drug abuse awareness specialists.
DeWine added that his office has also issued a heroin contact list for law enforcement officers, civic leaders, and the general public to offer addition information and resources regarding the heroin and drug abuse in general.
“New data our office has gathered suggests 11 people die in Ohio every week from a heroin overdose,” DeWine stated during a news release. “Heroin abuse and addiction has been a problem for a long time, one I keep hearing about as I talk with parents, prosecutors, and law enforcement around the state. These new efforts to fight heroin will not be the solution to Ohio’s heroin problem, but by providing what services we can, we hope to save lives and prevent addiction.”