Family Conference on Addiction

The Family Conference on Addiction organized by the Portage Substance Abuse Community Coalition was held on May 4.

Rose Deroia, a pharmacist for Cardinal Health and resident of Portage County, gave her perspective as a family member whose world has been forever changed by the disease of addiction. Since the passing of her oldest son from an opiate overdose, she has made it her mission to speak in communities, schools, rehabs, and benefits to educate the public and ending the stigma of addiction.

Portage County resident Kelly Hart shared his recovery story and how his family was affected by his addiction. Kelly, who was revived by naloxone three times, is in recovery and shares his recovery story at community awareness events.

Attendees also learned about on behavioral health & addiction, prevention education in our schools, the facts and myths about medication-assisted treatment, peer support, harm reduction, and the resources offered through Ohio Means Jobs. Participants were also trained by the Portage County Health District on overdose education and had the opportunity to receive a naloxone kit through Project DAWN.

Presenters at the conference included: Kelly Hart, Bill Russell, Coleman Professional Services; Sarah McCully, Townhall II; Rob Young, Townhall II; Jessika Easterling, Family & Community Services & OUR Place; Rose Deroia, Colleen Garlock, Harm Reduction Ohio; Ali Mitchell, Portage County Health District; and Lauren Shaull, Ohio Means Jobs. Link to presentations

The conference was sponsored by the Mental Health & Recovery Board and OhioCAN Portage County. OhioCAN is dedicated to bring a voice to this disease of addiction by breaking the silence and stigma that surrounds substance abuse and embark in conversation, education, and prevention.

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