Annual event in Piqua provides Hope Over Heroin

Annual event in Piqua provides Hope Over Heroin (WKEF/WRGT)

PIQUA, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Miami County is celebrating "Hope Over Heroin" at the annual event bringing together faith services and recovery services for those who need them.

The event started Friday evening in Mote Park in Piqua.

FOX 45's Kelly May talked with one man just starting his recovery at the event, hoping to convince others to do the same.

"I feel better than I ever have, that I ever can remember feeling," said Wayne Hale.

For Hale, it wasn't always that way.

He starting using drugs at 15 years old as a way to fit in at school, as he and his mother moved from place to place frequently. It began with marijuana, then alcohol. Most recently, his drug of choice was heroin.

"I was standing in my house after selling all my possessions of any value, I was scraping a With tears running down my face, and contemplating suicide," Hale said, "it was just kind of at that moment that I remembered who I was before I had given up."

Now, he is 105 days clean but before that he was on his way to buy drugs with his life changed forever.

"On my way back driving home I overdosed while I was driving and I wrecked my car, and I'm really lucky to be alive," Hale explained.

One of the firefighters who revived him out of his overdose was Aaron Simmons, who is also the director of Hope Over Heroin Miami County.

Simmons explained the event as a way to, "Bring the message of hope to all addicted, those hurting, those who just need freedom and hope."

During the event in Piqua Friday, live music, personal stories like Wayne's, tributes to recent victims of opiate overdose is, and a room with more than 25 recovery resources doing assessments on site, scheduling appointments, and getting people into treatment.

"A year ago we were looking pretty good compared to other places, this last month we're getting hit like crazy," said Police Chief and Bruce Jamison.

He said in the last week, crews have responded to four overdoses, which is a lot for the small town.

He said the people of Miami County need help from events like this, people like Wayne Hale's mother.

"After going through 12 years of addiction with my son, I couldn't be more proud of him," said Rita Ferguson.

"No matter what your problems are drugs aren't the answer," said Hale.

Rain had an effect on the grounds of the event Friday night, but Hope Over Heroin Miami County continues Saturday starting at 4:30 with free hotdogs, giveaways, and more resources for those in need.

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