TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Engaging the community to keep the conversation going about the heroin addiction in our area. That's what one library and advocacy group is doing Tuesday.
"Ten years ago we didn't have this," said Gisele Johnson, a concerned Toledo resident. "Where did it come from? Why are we in this position now? What can we do about it so we're not in the same position ten years from now?"
All of these questions and more were discussed today at one of the many community forums Harbor Behavioral Health is leading through Lucas County.
"Number one people are aware of what is going on," said Kathy Schnap, Harbor Behavioral Health. "Also to decrease some of the stigma to addiction. That this is everybody's problem, addiction heroin and opiate epidemic affects the whole entire community."
Experts believe fighting heroin addiction is like aiming for a moving target. What the drug is made of is changing. It becomes laced more and more with synthetic drugs like fentanyl.
The faces of heroin addiction are also changing.
"Now the people that are taking heroin, they're young, and they don't look like that," Johnson said. "You can't say that is a heroin addict, that is a drug addict. You don't even know."
As the heroin epidemic continues to grow and change, ways to help those involved is also changing. Advocates started a text hotline for those suffering from addiction.
If you know someone struggling with an addiction, text 4Hope to 741741.