Ohioans, we are in VERY REAL DANGER of losing an entire generation to addiction.
“Ohio children are entering foster care at a rate never before seen, hitting 16,154 in 2018, an increase of 3,500 — or 28 percent — in five years...the number of children entering foster care has exploded — another financial and human cost of the opioid epidemic, according to a new report.” -The Columbus Dispatch
The deadly effects of the “opioid crisis” is not new news in Ohio. For years running Ohio has been one of the worst states in the country for the number of overdose deaths per year. Currently, Ohio averages around 14 deaths a day from a drug overdose.
But the ramifications and ripple effects are slowly pulling much of a generation into the mess of addiction and the chaos it unleashes. For years I’ve been working with people that struggle with addiction and helping them live the life they are truly desiring, but more help is needed.
Imagine a child living in the same dirty diapers for days while home alone or even worse having to watch their parents do drugs in front of them, and all the insanity that that life entails. Imagine a child not eating while their parents spend the money on drug addiction. All the neglect, abuse, and unbelievably terrible things that come with that are literally ravaging thousands of defenseless children.
“One out of every four Ohio caseworkers quit in 2016 and 2017....a 2018 study found that more than half of Ohio’s children-services workers have high enough stress levels to meet the diagnostic threshold for post-traumatic stress disorder.” -The Columbus Dispatch
A common theme amongst the people I’ve worked with that struggle with addiction is the fact that they were exposed to addiction in their immediate family.
Ohioans, we can no longer pawn this horrific plague of drug addiction off on the police, courts, and treatment centers. It’s all hands on deck. We must involve ourselves in the mess and fill the cracks that people are falling through into the abyss of death with love and hope.
The law and professionals are doing their best, the missing piece is the average citizen that lives next door to the families and individuals that have been devastated by the scars of addiction.
It’s messy, at this point there is no way around that. But the longer we push the death, loss, and destruction that addiction has birthed in Ohio off on the next generation the harder it gets to see the change we are all desiring. Now, now it’s the time to start where you can and begin loving the people within your reach more intentionally. An entire generation is crying out for us, us, to step up and be the people that said, “Enough is enough. This ends on my watch!”
Cross the Bridge - 6min video