"Awareness Sunday" addresses heroin epidemic

BRUNSWICK, OH (WOIO) - Today, hundreds of local religious leaders brought the problem of heroin off the streets and into the pulpit, to remind people it's not a problem for any single family, or any one community.

Dozens packed the pews at St. Ambrose in Brunswick- not just for mass but for a special message about heroin and how it's touched their community.

"Whatever there is of the middle class values, it's right here and what we're seeing is person after person, family after family just struggling," said Father Bob Stec.

St. Ambrose joins the more than 500 religious institutions that addressed the issue Sunday during services.

According to the Alcohol, Drug, Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, the state of Ohio leads the nation in heroin overdoses.

"A lot of people don't realize how serious this is in our community and I certainly didn't, and I know most of my friends have known somebody or have been to a funeral which very unfortunate," said Dan Hronek.

Father Bob says he recently held funeral services for a 30-year-old member of his parish who died from an overdose.

"You see the pain and suffering in the family and it's just terrible and beyond words so I think it's time we're trying to stir up a conversation, more than just talk but we really need to wrap our minds around what's going on here and really understand the breath and width of the problem," he said.

And so know they're asking parishioners to keep those struggling in prayer but to also keep the conversations going.

April 29 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. It will be the 13th year.

Leaders are encouraging folks to take advantage of the program and drop off at your local police station, no questions asked.

You can find out more by clicking here.

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