WARSAW — A Bridge to Hope, a local addiction center that has recently moved into a new office at 3111 E. Center St., Warsaw, is partnering with The Bowen Center and local officials to help provide the community with resources for addicts, specifically opioid addicts, and their loved ones.
From 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, at the Center Lake Pavilion located at 119 E. Canal St., Warsaw, the community is invited to a community call to action to tackle the opioid issue being faced by the community. Kosciusko and Allen County officials, Kosciusko County judges, Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer and The Bowen Center addiction and recovery directors will be present to provide information, take questions and provided resources. The first 70 minutes of the program will be speakers, followed by a question and answer panel.
“The average demographic for a person who overdoses in Fort Wayne is a 39-year-old, white, employed male,” explains Mickey Ashpole, president of A Bridge to Hope and recovering addict.
Ashpole founded A Bridge to Hope to help bring opioid addiction resources to the area. He was shocked to previously discover that, despite being a country-wide problem, opioid addiction is not currently being locally treated as a public health issue. Other than a brief hospital stay, overdose patients receive very few resources to help manage addiction.
Mary Gerard, vice president of human resources at The Bowen Center, had reached out to Ashpole to find a way to help battle opioids in the community. Gerard is a responsible party for the “faces of meth” awareness campaign for methamphetamine addiction. Together Gerard and Ashpole decided to hold this event.
“Meth was ugly, it was just gross, but it wasn’t killing people like the heroin is,” says Ashpole. “In Fort Wayne … for 2017, there’s been 83 deaths with 75 pending toxicology reports,” he explains. “How much attention would this be getting if there was 158 homicides in Fort Wayne?”
The event is designed to help provide answers and resources for anyone dealing with addiction and its consequences. Resources will be available for employers, school officials, addicts and their loved ones.
“Addicts, whether you’re clean, in recovery or you’re still getting high, just come out and hear what we have to say because there’s going to be resources there for people who need help,” says Ashpole.
The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department will be providing prescription drug disposal bins to help safely remove unwanted prescription drugs from local homes.
For more information call Ron Ousley at A Bridge to Hope at (574) 377-9965.