Panel discussion focuses on addiction and the family


Paul Armitage, North-Mar Church pastor of youth ministries, preceded Monday’s panel discussion on addiction and the family with a prayer in which he called drug addiction a “God-sized problem.”

“Even though this is a desperate and bleak problem, I ask that You give us hope,” he prayed at North-Mar.

It’s an appropriate message in Trumbull County, where the death toll has grown increasingly higher the last two years, despite increased public awareness and increased resources being applied.

Monday’s program is one of several this week alone in Trumbull County. And use of free opiate-reversal naloxone kits has skyrocketed, with 134 people’s lives saved last year with them.

But the county is in the midst of an especially deadly overdose-death spike this month, April Caraway, executive director of the Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board, said privately before the panel discussion began.

Sixteen people are believed to have died in Trumbull County from overdoses so far in March. The county had a record high 104 overdose deaths in 2016 following a record number of 87 in 2015.

According to the Trumbull County Coroner’s office, five people have died due to drug overdoses from March 1 to March 7 this month. “There have been 55 reported overdoses in the Ohio Department of Health’s Epi Center system since March 1 and a total of 45 overdoses for all of February,” said Sandy Swann, director of nursing at the Trumbull County Combined Health District.

Read MORE in Tuesday's VINDICATOR

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