CAMDEN — Last month, Pastor Greg F. Jackson, along with other pastors in the county, invited the public for a special prayer service about the county, state and nation’s drug epidemic.
The service was held at First Southern Baptist Church in Camden.
“A great burden on our heart and many hearts is the drug epidemic, specifically heroin, that is taking lives, destroying young people and families, and affecting our community in a great way,” Jackson said.
He invited Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson, Preble Shawnee Superintendent Dr. Matt Bishop and others to speak.
“Three young men have recently lost their lives to this viper in our community the past few weeks,” Jackson said. “We have to do more than just talk about it and offer condolences. It is time for God’s people to come together and get on our knees before our Maker and petition Him on behalf of our community, families, and law enforcement. If we won’t, who will? Now is the time.”
More than 120 people attended the service, which included testimony from a drug addict and family members.
“We have a number of our churches represented and that’s a wonderful thing,” Jackson said. “We all recognize as leaders in the local church that prayer changes everything. But sometimes we get too busy, even doing church stuff, and that’s a sad commentary. But it’s also a wonderful time when we can get together, pastors and leaders of families that represent our community, and tonight that’s what we’re doing. We’re here to pray for Camden. We are here to pray for our county because we are in desperate need of a touch from God. Specifically tonight, we are going to pray as it relates to addiction and the heroin epidemic that has taken many lives recently.”
Simpson said law enforcement is “doing their best to fight the fight” as they know it.
“We can’t do it without you,” Simpson told those in attendance. “And we can’t do it without God and guidence and strength and all that goes with that.”
Simpson said in the past month he has spent time with other sheriffs throughout the state and nation and they are all battling the same issues.
“This entire country is fighting this battle … we go at it everyday the best we can and as hard as we can, to try and make a difference in the community and try to do our best to stop this.” he said. “But we can’t do it alone. Law enforcement cannot do this alone. There’s an awful lot of people in the community working with us to try and combat this.”
Ohio leads the nation in overdose deaths due to herion and opioids. The current rate of opioid dependence in Ohio is one out of 100.
A Preble County Town Hall, sponsored by the Preble County Substance Abuse Prevention Partneship, will be held Thursday, April 6, from 6-9 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Eaton Middle School. The event is free.
The Town Hall will include: Preble County Drug Task Forces, county and city stats from the Sheriff’s Office, local police departments, individuals celebrating recovery, community resources, and local treatment agencies.
If inclement weather occurs, or for more information, call 937-456-7694 regarding the event.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.