By Chris Pugh
Ruth Ann Etzinger’s eyes glistened as she remembered her son, Taylor, a 2011 Galion High School graduate, who died July 10 from a heroin overdose.
“I may have lost the battle with my son,” she said. “But we haven’t lost the war. If we can put a man on the moon, we can win this war we’re fighting.”
Etzinger was one of about 60 people who attended a rally Monday night near City of Galion Municipal Building.
The rally Fed Up!, was held in conjunction with International Overdose Awareness Day.
And while speakers credited efforts by Crawford County courts and local police departments in fighting drugs in the county, additional encouragement was given to continue the fight and to win the war.
“For us to win the war, we have to eliminate the supply of heroin available to families,” Crawford County Municipal Court Judge Shane M. Leuthold said. “As long as people are willing to sell, people are willing to buy. We also have to stop people from trying to buy it in the first place. We have to help as a community. People who are addicted need support 100 percent of the time.”
He added that more support needs to be given to existing facilities along with the creation of additional treatment centers and facilities in the area.
The efforts are appreciated by Lori Ewing, who lost her son, Hunter LaChance, to an overdose in 2014.
“It helps to hear people talk from the heart,” she said.
Margie Maddox of The Alpha Recovery 12-Step Program said the losses of Etzinger and LaChance were felt throughout the community.
“Our losses are the community’s loss,” she said. “These are children who won’t have a family and grow into what they are supposed to be. It’s going to take the community working together to stop this.”