Local leaders honor first responders in opioid crisis

GALION — As part of a week-long, statewide effort to recognize workers and volunteers on the front line of Ohio’s opioid epidemic, the Crawford-Marion Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Board hosted an event this week at Grace Point Church.

Local police officers, county sheriffs and deputies, State Highway Patrol officers, firefighters, EMTs/paramedics and probation officers were honored for their life-changing efforts. The message shared by speakers and others was “Bringing Help, Bringing Hope. Thank You.”

Local speakers included Galion Mayor Tom O’Leary, Crawford County Commissioner Mo Ressallat, and Crawford County Common Pleas Court Judge Sean Leuthold who shared their appreciation of those serving on the front line of the opioid battle in our communities.

O’Leary thanked first responders and also focused on the importance of employment in recovery. Ressallat read a proclamation from Crawford County commissioners and Leuthold assured law enforcement and first responders that they are supported by Crawford County residents and acknowledged their role in reducing crime and saving lives.

Other state leaders, including Cheri Walter, CEO of the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities; and Joyce Starr, chief of addiction services for the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, expressed their gratitude to the first responders.

One other person who spoke was an individual in recovery, who shared how her life was changed thanks those who helped her and how recovery was possible once given the opportunity for treatment and support.

“We sponsored the Day of Appreciation because we wanted to genuinely recognize and thank those who have been standing on the front line of this crisis for many years,” said ADAMH Board Executive Director Brad DeCamp. “They’ve been asked to do so many things that go above and beyond the call of duty and we appreciate that very much.”

He said the opioid epidemic fight will continue.

“Every sector of society is impacted by addiction, and it’s going to take every part of every community to develop a solution to this epidemic,” DeCamp said. “We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we’ll continue to bring hope to our community and build the understanding that treatment works and people recover.”

Tom O’Leary
https://www.galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2018/04/web1_Tom-O-Leary.jpgTom O’Leary



Staff report