panel informs community of how to fight heroin

(originally published 1/14/17 on thecspn.com)

The community of Mason is pulling together to shoot down the heroin epidemic.

On January 11, Mason High School hosted a panel with distinguished leaders from the area to discuss the danger of the recent outbreak of opioid abuse and how to combat addiction. This was in conjunction with the showing of Chasing the Dragon earlier in the day, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)-produced movie shown to all high school students in the state of Ohio.

Tracey Carson, public information officer for Mason City Schools, said she hoped the panel would bring awareness to the issue.

“After watching Chasing the Dragon, we didn’t want the conversation to end with our students,” Carson said. “It’s really important that our families and our entire community come together to address this issue.”

Robert Peeler, a nationally recognized Warren County judge, said education is key when it comes to tackling this topic.

Peeler said he realized the importance of this topic after a tragic event struck close to home.

Class of 2005 Mason graduate Samantha Frashier shared her experiences as a recovering addict. Frashier is the driving force behind The Nest, a local recovery home and said after her struggles with heroin, she realized just how big of a need there was for places where addicts could seek treatment and refuge.

Frashier said that after the panel, continuing the conversation would be integral to making a change.

As the panel was coming to a close, a member of the audience summed up the night, emphasizing the grand scale of the epidemic.

“If you don’t think you’re affected, you’re going to be,” she said. “If it’s not someone now, it’s going to be, and the only way to solve this problem is to talk about it.”

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