Ohio Community Groups? “O” Yeah!
This time the O has it. That’s right. The O. Have what? Our attention. See, it’s time for another community group rundown, and this time we’re circling our wagons around Ohio. That means we’re covering Ohio community groups, naturally. Just a quick way to salute some of the folks who are helping to better the Buckeye State.
And why not? The Ohio community groups sure deserve it. So do the people they serve. And if the people aren’t aware of all that’s out there, they won’t be able to avail themselves to all the available help. Yeah, we know. 2 + 2. But sometimes simple and direct is quite effective.
In fact, simple and direct is quite effective more often than not. It sure beats complicated and indirect. Nobody needs complications. Nobody. And we’re saying so directly.
Speaking of which, once again our Ohio community groups come directly from the Partnership to End Addiction’s Community Partner Page. You know the Partnership. They’re a top shelf outfit. That’s why we feature them at every opportunity. It’s also why we’ve been following their lead vis-a-vis community groups. We did it in Florida. We did it in New Jersey. And we also did it in Michigan, Missouri and Minnesota.
Now we’re on to Ohio. Like the rest of the U.S., the Buckeye State is facing some serious substance abuse issues. And like the rest of the U.S., the state is blessed to have some seriously committed community groups stepping up to help. Our intention is to help them help you. And we believe providing these groups with much-deserved recognition is a good way to do it too.
So, without further ado, we give you Ohio!
Ohio Community Groups
Ohio really got hit hard when opioids rolled into the country. In fact, it’s been among the three most-impacted states throughout the entire epidemic. That’s not a good thing. Not at all. Fortunately a few Ohio community groups have been running some very serious interference.
The good folks at I’m in Transition Ministries run the kind of faith-based Ohio community group that addresses all aspects of recovery. That’s obviously why — and how — they’ve become one of Cuyahoga County’s most respected organizations. Founders Jason and Jennifer Calloway (who serves as Director) are hands-on, day-in and day-out, ensuring all five of IIT’s well-appointed Guest Houses run like proverbial clockwork. And if by chance a client requires assistance beyond the scope of safe, sober lodging and substance abuse, the pair will connect them with a variety of like-minded nonprofits.
And it’s a healing, helping variety too. Some of IIT’s allies (i.e. Circle Health Services and The Centers for Families and Children) provide the kind of continuum of healthcare essential to successful recovery. Other allies (i.e. the Oriana House-run North Star Neighborhood Reentry Resource Center) serve Northeast Ohioans who may need a little extra help liaising with various federal, state and local agencies. Speaking of which, IIT will even put you directly in touch with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services so you can cover the staples. In other words, the IIT Team will do whatever is necessary to get your life back on track. It doesn’t get any better than that.
The Knox Substance Abuse Action Team is unapologetically dedicated to Knox County’s youth, in every imaginable way, shape and form. They also happen to be in unapologetic allegiance with just about every other community stakeholder in Knox County, from churches, courts and law enforcement to (naturally) all stages of education.
We’re not exaggerating either. In fact, KSAAT’s Agencies and Partners Page looks like a Who’s Who in Ohio Do-Good. There’s the culturally-enriching Ariel Foundation, as well as its exquisite Ariel Foundation Park. There’s the locally-owned and fully independent Conway’s Eastside Pharmacy (a real rarity these days), as well as the rainmaking visualists at Kokosing River Productions. And there are an array of addiction treatment facilities, as well as the aforementioned churches and schools, courts and law enforcement, from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Perhaps that’s why KSAAT’s thirteen-member Knox Opioid Response and Recovery Consortium is so effective. Or why it seems to provide more County resources than there are County residents. It’s most certainly why KSAAT’s Teen Advisory Council delivers the kind of credibility peers both recognize and respect. Then again, that’s kind of what happens when the next generation is as informed and inspired as the last. (And vice versa!)
The Richland County Youth Substance Use Coalition is one of the many essential organizations affiliated with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s sweeping Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program. The DFC Support Program was started in 1997 in order to help community coalitions create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use. To that end it awards grants of up to $125,000 per year, for up to five years. At the end of a given cycle, the community groups can re-apply.
Toward this end Richland County’s Coalition successfully adheres to all Federal guidelines, which in turn enables them to meet the myriad targets required to be effective. But though the Coalition goes by the book, it doesn’t mean they’re in anyway hamstrung by the parameters. Quite the contrary. The Coalition’s aligning with Richland County Health Department provides an outlet for a rich array of opportunities. Add the foresight and ingenuity found in the Youth who comprise the Coalition and you’ve the makings of much brighter tomorrows. You’ve also got the kind of community group of which a community can be proud.
By the Numbers
The CDC says there were nearly 841,000 drug overdose deaths between 1999 and 2019. A full 70,630 of those deaths occurred in 2019 alone. Of those, Ohio suffered 4251, after only Pennsylvania (4377), Florida (5268) and California (6198). As for per capita deaths, Ohio was third, after only Pennsylvania and Florida.
Those are heartbreaking numbers. Remember, each of those overdoses represents a mom or a dad, a daughter or a son, a sister or a brother, an aunt or an uncle. Quite often those overdoses represent all of the above. Add the family members who were affected by their loved one’s death, and you get a sum too large even to gauge.
This rash rush of heartbreak is one of the reasons community groups are so important. These folks serve on the front lines — handing out Narcan, fielding suicide calls, providing guidance and support, and sometimes even interference. In fact, they’re often there before even the first responders. And it’s crucial that they’re in turn given the support necessary to do what’s necessary. Indeed without community groups, Ohio or otherwise, our communities will lose one of their best chances at staying strong and remaining whole.
Healing Properties thanks the Ohio community groups listed above, as well as all their affiliated counterparts. We know serving others can sometimes be a thankless task. And we want these groups to remember how appreciated they really are.
What about you? Have you reached out to a Ohio community group? Are you thinking about it? They can provide a world of good you know. Real good. The kind of good that can redirect your life. So how ’bout it?