BLANCHESTER, Ohio -- A new group trying to draw attention to available addiction services brought an unusual display to the Blanchester Fourth of July parade this year: a float full of people impacted by heroin.
Roger Winemiller vowed to make a difference after he lost two of his children to overdoses nine months apart last year. He and others with Hope Warriors of Blanchester are working hard this summer to help people who are addicted to drugs and their families.
"We're serious about it," Winemiller said. "We want the people to know. We're not ashamed of it, we're not afraid of it, we're not shy about it."
Blanchester has seen 17 overdoses this year. The federal government allocated more than $400,000 last year to help the growing opioid problem in Clinton County.
Lisa Haynes co-founded Hope Warriors of Blanchester. She said the parade was the first time the group has tried this approach, and that they found people are looking for information.
"I said, 'We've got numbers on the back of our fliers. You can call us and we'll get people to you,'" Haynes told parade attendees.
This won't be the last time the group brings their message to summer festivals. They say they want to do more so their message gains momentum.
"The word needs to get out any way possible," Haynes said. "And, this is one way that we can get the word to our community."
Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren & Clinton Counties offers addiction services. Click here for more information.