- Wayne Baker Staff Writer
Community First’s Behavioral Health Services is opening a free and flexible family support group called SAFE in Hamilton and Middletown. The group is dedicated to providing information, resources and help for individuals with loved ones suffering from drug addiction.
This effort is one of many to combat the drug overdose problem that has plagued Butler County in the past two years.
During a year of record deaths from drug overdoses in Butler County and across Ohio, glimmers of hope also exist as organizations and local governments have begun to find solutions that might make a difference, officials said.
More than 30 news organizations statewide have partnered to share those solutions and help communities think about which ones might be adaptable locally.
Your Voice Ohio will be holding a forum in Middletown, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, at the MidPointe Library, 125 S. Broad St. to brainstorm with local residents about new ideas for combating the drug crisis.
Jennifer Scott, AOD Supervisor of Behavioral Health Services Middletown, is hopeful that the SAFE program will be another helpful tool to help people deal with drug addiction.
“When a person you care about is sick with an addiction you can get sick too,” Scott said. “Everyone’s affected. It’s not just one person.”
She added that, “feelings of anger, frustration and helplessness are normal, and it can be hard to know where to turn for help and what help even looks like. We want people to know they are not alone. We are here to listen.”
The program does not require any type of referral or formal request to seek assistance.
“SAFE provides an informal, supportive environment for participants to understand, cope, build a community and heal in a healthy way,” Scott said.
Group meetings are Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m. at Community Behavioral Health located at 442 S. Second St. in Hamilton, or Wednesdays from 6-7:30 p.m at The Robert “Sonny” Hill Community Center at 800 Lafayette Ave. in Middletown.
For more information, contact the Hamilton office at 513-424-0921 ext. 14 or the Middletown office at 513-785-4784.