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May 15, 2013

Grassroots Prevention Coalition symposium focuses on awareness, education

JEFFERSONVILLE —

Roy Sheryl shared his story of fighting addiction with a small group this week. He said he also knew people who lost their fight to addiction, and within a year he attended seven funerals. 

Sheryl explained that for him it has been a long journey that began with a rough childhood that did not teach him how to properly cope with his emotions. He started using drugs because he wanted to try everything at least once, but that eventually became the addiction disease. 

“It wasn’t until I got tired of my own life that I wanted to change. It’s hard to reach out to people until they’re fed up with their life,” he said.

The Grassroots Prevention Coalition of Clark County strives to get the word out to the public about the harms that drugs and alcohol represent to our community’s young population. During the Town Hall Symposium at the Community Action of Southern Indiana building on Tuesday evening — which Sheryl attended — several speakers from Clark County shared their thoughts on the issue. 

Jackie Love, director of Grassroots Prevention Coalition of Clark County, explained that the symposiums are held to educate those who struggle with addiction, people who work with such clients and anyone interested in preventing addiction in the community. 

John Ambers, director of Outpatient and Addiction Services at Wellstone Hospital, shared that within one year he attended five funerals for people who suffered drug- or alcohol-related deaths under the age of 25. Ambers, who participates regularly with the Grassroots Prevention Coalition, explained that the objective of the group is the focus on substance abuse that affects children.

“We need to educated young people about the dangers of alcohol and other substances, instead of them living in the myth that they learned from family and friends,” Ambers said.

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