Michele Spring Reporting:

(April 10, 2018) This week across the state of Ohio, counties are putting forth an effort to recognize local first responders who are saving lives every day fighting the opiate epidemic.

Natalie Bollen, of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Board, is encouraging residents to attend their event tomorrow that will be held in the atrium of the Tuscarawas County Courthouse Annex.

“We’re going to have speeches from individuals that are in recovery and have been brought back with naloxone or Narcan. We’re going to present an award. And we’re going to discuss the process and progress of our county through the opiate epidemic, as well as honoring those that are on the front lines.”

First responders make the initial impact when someone is in the middle of an opiate addiction. They are the ones who help those individuals connect with the proper resources to help get them on the road to recovery.

 “We had some individuals write some thank you letters to first responders. These individuals are thankful for being placed in jail, they’re thankful for being picked up on probation violations, they’re thankful for being brought back with Narcan because even though it took them awhile they are now thinking clearly and differently.”

Bollen says in her experience with first responders, they don’t feel that they need the recognition or the grand gesture but residents can still honor them by doing little things throughout the year to show appreciation. Baking a plate of cookies and taking them to your local fire or emergency service agency or even just a simple note of thanks goes a long way.

Residents of Tuscarawas County are urged to stop by the event tomorrow at 1:30pm.

If you have questions regarding, call the ADAMHS board at 330-364-6488.

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