On Sunday afternoon, October 1, I attended a meeting of various leaders in Groveport and Madison Township. The group consisted of firefighter/paramedics, police officers, Superintendent of Schools, government officials from the City of Groveport and Madison Township, and several church leaders. Three representatives of the Ohio Attorney General were present to facilitate our meeting.
The subject of the meeting was the opiate addiction epidemic that is such a significant problem. Part of the process was digesting the statistics. They were difficult to hear. (Steve Farrar said, “Statistics are people with the tears wiped off.”) Fatal overdoses from heroin are up 533% since 2002. Cocaine overdoses jumped from 515 in 2015 to over 1,000 in 2016. Ohio had 336 opiate-related deaths in 2016. We are currently on track for an 88% increase in 2017. We absolutely are NOT exempt from this problem in Groveport and Madison Township.
At this meeting we also learned that the four facets of addiction are:
We also learned that it is the responsibility of the community to:
Many thanks to Groveport Councilwoman, Jean Ann Hilbert, for pulling this meeting together. As things move forward, there are some very specific ways that the church can help with this crisis. Our job is not to sit back and lament the situation, but to engage where we can. Never underestimate the fact that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the most powerful change agent available anywhere. Please stay tuned as we learn what our piece can be in this problem.