MIDDLEPORT — A Meigs County Chapter of SOLACE (Surviving Our Loss And Continuing Everyday) has been organized with a first official meeting planned for 7 p.m. on Feb. 2 at the Middleport Nazarene Church, 980 General Hartinger Parkway in Middleport.
“This is not a faith-based organization although each individual involved has the right to her own religious beliefs,” said Brenda Phalin, one of the organizers of the local chapter.
The intention of SOLACE, it was explained is to provide support, and assist in the recovery process in drug related situations. An emphasis is on striving to eliminate the stigma attached to the words “addict” and “addiction ” and instead offer hope and information.
According to state statistics, four Ohioans die every day due to prescription drug abuse, with unintentional drug poisoning a leading cause of death in the state. As to the availability of drugs, Meigs County is reported to have 89.3 opiate doses available for every person in the county.
Members of the Meigs County Chapter have set as their role “to offer love and support to the families, friends and loved-ones that are living day to day with the effects of addiction, be it from alcohol or any form of drug addition.”
The meetings of SOLACE are designed to offer a safe, confidential environment to share fears, ask questions and become empowered with information by taking a stand together. Regular meetings will be held on the first and third Thursday of each month.
“The emphasis of this program is encourage residents to step forward and take back our community and in by doing so come out of the shadows and gain support from one another,” said Phalin, who along with Nancy Hill and Laura Withrow organized the local chapter.
The Chapter’s motto is HULT ( Help Us Love Tough). With drug usage in Meigs County now in epidemic proportion, the community is being encouraged to attend the SOLACE meeting.
“Together we can be a powerful force toward stopping this plague which is destroying our families and our community,” concluded Phalin.