Amid a nationwide opioid scourge, a little hope in a small town

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio — Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, and John Lane, chief of police of this small town in Columbiana County, have more in common than you’d think.

Both Conway and Lane believe that the fight against opioid addiction will require faith-based ministries that can work through peer to peer programs, which connect former addicts to current ones. This scourge has ripped through the country.

“It’s like anything else. When you look at something, you say, ‘Do I like it and is it like me?’ When it’s peer to peer, that really is the key. First of all, it reduces the stigma and the fear people have about ‘how do we even get started? Who will judge me? Will someone arrest me?’” said Conway in an interview with the Washington Examiner the day after President Donald Trump unveiled his plan to combat the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire.

Chief Lane is on the same page with Conway. His town of East Liverpool became the poster child of the opioid scourge thanks to his decision to post a photo in 2016 of two overdosed adults prostrate in the front seats of a car, while a four-year-old boy in a dinosaur T-shirt looked on from the back.

The world stopped in its tracks at the raw human loss in that photo. It’s exactly why Lane decided to post it.

“It was in that moment that the child stopped becoming the center of that family’s world, and drugs replaced that love and caring they were supposed to give him,” said Lane.

It was shocking for the rest of the country who was not used to seeing something Lane sees every day, sometimes several times a day.

The hopelessness captured in that photo echoed across the country as hundreds of other cities, towns, suburbs, and rural expanses saw themselves, or family members or neighbors, in that photo.

Lane credits the peer to peer efforts of Family Care Ministries, a faith-based, nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people with addictions.

Read the full piece HERE.

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