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The Hardest Hit City Affected by the Opium Crisis in the United States, and Yet they Have Hope and Joy

Dayton, Ohio is the largest city in Montgomery County Ohio. Montgomery County Ohio is the opioid overdose capital of America.

Ohio is one of the hardest hit states affected by the opium crisis in the United States. In 2016 Ohio lost 33,000 souls to opium overdoses. 372 of those overdosed and died in Montgomery County.

I visited Montgomery County back in July 2017 and spoke with the county coroner, county sheriff and a lady by the name of Lori Erion.


Lori Erion is a person in long-term recovery. A few years ago Lori founded an organization she called, “Families of Addicts” (FOA). The goal was to reach out to any person whose life had been affected by mental health or addiction issues. “We started with six people and a bag of Twizzlers,” Lori said.

On Sunday, August 27, 2017, FOA held their fourth “Rally 4 Recovery” on the Dayton Courthouse Square.

The hope is to eliminate the stigma associated with addiction and mental health disorder, educate people about addiction and mental health issues, and most importantly celebrate and show the recovery is possible and that it works!

I was asked if I would help with documenting the event via video recording.

The rally included guest speaker Tim Ryan, founder of “From Dope to Hope: A Man in Recovery. And is the author of the book, “From Dope to Hope: A Man in Recovery.


The keynote speaker was Ohio Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine.
Mr. DeWine has been fighting the opioid crisis for over six years. When he became Atty. Gen. one of his first projects was to go to every county in Ohio and hold a town meeting on the subject of heroin abuse to learn how this crisis was affecting the people of Ohio. He was one of the very first attorney general’s to crack down on pill mills and actually personally participated in raiding and arresting doctors who were running pill mills.

He has started a lawsuit on behalf of the state of Ohio suing Purdue Pharma over misleading advertising. His current passion includes trying to make the people of Ohio aware of the children in the foster care system as a result of parents either being jailed or losing custody over opioid abuse.

You may think being in the opium overdose capital of America and learning of the impact opioid abuse has had on the foster care system. That today would be kind of be a downer. That would not be correct.


Dayton Ohio has a positive outlook on this health care crisis. Erion told the hundreds gathered at today’s rally that they are working on solutions. “We understand the situation is bad and the need is great, but we are focusing on what the solutions are and saving people’s lives,” Erion said.

It was a fantastic day, getting to meet some really great people, seeing over a thousand people celebrating their recovery or celebrating the recovery of a family member.

I want to invite you to visit FOA’s website and Facebook page. just click the highlighted links. And find out how they are helping people beat addiction, live in recovery, and save lives.

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Most Americans didn’t see the real Solar Eclipse with their own eyes, here’s why

Monday morning, August 21, 2017, I drove 270+ miles to Hopkinsville, Kentucky to watch the sun disappear. The locals call this place “Hoptown,” which is short for Hopkinsville. But this week it’s called “EclipseVille, USA.” According to people who are supposed to know about these things, Hoptown is the location of the longest darkness caused by this eclipse. The technical term for the eclipse darkness is called totality. Today I stood in totality. For two minutes and 40 seconds, the sun became a black dot in the sky. And I mean a pitch-black dot in the sky.

We arrived about an hour and a half before totality the eclipse had not started yet. Everyone had their special eclipse glasses so they don’t go blind staring at the sun. And we enjoyed lunch. Occasionally we put your glasses on and take a peek at what appeared to be an orange dot. Then we heard some people gasp and quickly, with glasses on looked up to see a tiny bite taken out of that orange ball. The eclipse had started and at first, it was not impressive. It was neat that a small part of the sun was missing, but you couldn’t look at it with the naked eye. So you still had to use the special glasses for viewing.

A short time later half of the sun was gone and by this time the surrounding area had started to take on a slightly filtered look. The area had a bluish tint, only slightly darker than it had been a few minutes ago. We looked at our watches to check precisely when this phenomenon was supposed to take place as the orange dot grew smaller and smaller until finally, it was simply a small, thin sliver. At this point, we’re looking at about 99% of the sun missing. The surrounding area was noticeably darker but the sky was still blue just like it would be on a slightly cloudy day.

Watching, as the orange ball disappeared, I hear a gasp from the people around me. I joined them in taking the glasses off and looking straight up at the “hole in the sky.” And a hole best describes what I saw.

Photos don’t do it justice. There above me, where the sun had just been was a pitch-black dot with white flares on all sides, aka the Sun’s Corona.
The sky was not black but a dark blue.

If you were not fortunate enough to be in 100% totality you did not experience what I experienced. At 99% you cannot look up at the sun with unprotected eyes. At 99% you can only see that tiny orange glow with the glasses on. Only in totality can you safely take the glasses off.

Immediately upon the son’s disappearance, we could hear crickets and a few seconds later they were joined by birds this phenomenon only happens in totality. Looking at the sky and seeing the Corona surround the black dot only happens in totality. Even seeing the black dot only happens when the sun is totally blocked out and you are standing in the shadow of the moon.

You can look at the horizon in every direction, for 360° you see the pink glow on the horizon. Everywhere the horizon showed this pink glow.

Now understand that Corona is around the sun most of the time but because of the brightness of the sun, we can’t see it. I looked to the West and in what had been light blue sky was the planet Venus and a few stars. Wow, 1:30 in the afternoon and you can see stars and planets. Again this only happens in totality.

So if you were lucky enough to find some eclipse glasses and put them on and saw that orange ball reduced to a sliver you now have a story to tell. But, if you don’t understand what the big deal was about and if you don’t think it lived up to its hype, understand that’s because you weren’t standing in the right place. To watch an eclipse through protective eyewear is pretty cool, but to look with the unprotected eye and see a hole in the sky, to listen to the birds sing and the crickets do their thing and then in the very final second of the eclipse to see a burst of sunlight forms what looked like a giant, brilliant diamond ring, wow, it’s worth all the hype.

Most Americans only saw the Moon eclipsing part of the sun. The real eclipse was a two minute and 40 seconds brilliant pitch-black hole in the sky.

— Ron Calhoun, Founder Heroin Doesn’t Care

PS If you missed it and can see an ever better solar eclipse in 2024.

Also, this is the best video of what I saw.

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Discover 2 Alarming Reasons We Must Stop Calling This The Heroin Epidemic


Stop calling this a heroin epidemic.

We are in the middle of what is being called the “worst health care crisis in American history.” But you, I and the media are calling this by the wrong name and therefore not placing the blame where it needs to belong. We are allowing an end endless parade of new addicts and not addressing how these drugs are produced and distributed.

President Donald J Trump and a lot of other good people believe that by building a wall and having better-secured borders, we can stop or at least interrupt the growth of this health care crisis.

They falsely believe that this crisis has been caused by foreign drug cartels flooding our towns and cities with heroin.

It is time to blame the real culprits accountable for the manufacturing and distribution of these horrible drugs.

This crisis started with legally manufactured and distributed opium-based painkillers being overprescribed in massive of amounts throughout the United States.

Reason number one to stop calling it a heroin epidemic is that it actually started as a pain pill epidemic.

This crisis was created by the greed of one pharmaceutical company that lied about a drugs likelihood to be addictive and whether or not it was tamper proof. The misinformation led to an explosion of opium-based painkillers being marketed across the United States.

Most of the people who currently use this drug become addicted first to a legally produced and legally distributed opium-based painkiller. Our country was flooded with overprescribed massive amounts of what had one time had been considered an end-of-life pain treatment.

Fifteen and twenty years ago doctors were trained to believe drugs like OxyContin were not addictive if used for pain. We now know that was a lie.

A large number of people received prescriptions for drugs like OxyContin, took the painkiller as ordered by the doctor and became physically dependent on this schedule one narcotic.

At the same time, drug addicts discover this legally produced and legally distributed opium-based painkiller and found pill mills to provide prescription on a cash only basis.

Pill mills started springing up, first in my home State of Kentucky. We were flooded with legally produced and legally distributed opium-based painkillers. People who followed their doctors’ orders were becoming drug addicts.

States like Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania acted by working to close down the pill mills. Unfortunately, black tar heroin was creeping across the county. As the pill mills were closed by law enforcement, patient’s who by this time had become physically dependent on the drug turned to street drugs.

This did not start as a heroin epidemic. It started with legal pain pills and turned into a pain pill epidemic.

Doctors Are Still Overprescribing Opioids in U.S.

Reason number two to stop calling it a heroin epidemic is that it has become an opioid epidemic.

I recently interviewed Dr. Kent Harshbarger, Coroner of Montgomery County, Ohio at his Dayton, Ohio Office. Montgomery County and the Dayton, Ohio area had the highest number of opioid overdose deaths per capita in the United State. In 2016 they had to rent refrigerated trailers for storing the bodies. They lost 372 people to an opioid overdose in 2016. When I spoke to him in June of 2017 they had already lost over 400 people to opioid overdose. They fear the total will go over 800 for 2017.

Dr. Harshbarger told me that people were not dying from heroin that the toxicology reports confirmed the deaths were being caused by fentanyl an opioid agonist. An agonist activates the opioid receptors in the brain. Fentanyl is made in a laboratory.

Montgomery Co. Sheriff Phil Plummer informed me the addicts in his county were not buying heroin but fentanyl. His department discovered that the fentanyl was being made in lab’s in China, ordered on the dark internet, and had been delivered by Amazon. “Interstate 70 and Interstate 75 cross in Montgomery County dealers are using the area as a hub to distribute the drug.”

This started with legal pain pills, progressed to black tar heroin and is moving across the country in the form of fentanyl. Building a wall, and having better-secured borders will do little to stop the opioid epidemic.

Sheriff Phil Plummer said, “This is not a heroin epidemic, it is an opioid epidemic.”

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Breaking News – The truth that most of the news media is not telling you about Pres. Donald Trump declaring a national opioid emergency. Here are the facts you need to know.

The headlines shouted victory… But did they shout too soon?

Calm down everyone; we are not out of the woods yet.

National headlines are shouting from the housetops that Pres. Trump has declared an opioid national emergency, but has he?

No, he has not. What the president has done is announced that he “plans” to declare an emergency. Anyone who’s had a loved one plan on getting into treatment will know that planning is great but it’s action that counts.

NBC news says, “Trump declares opiate opioid crisis national emergency”

LA Times says, “Trump declares opioid crisis a national emergency”

Fox news says, “Trump declares opium epidemic national emergency – here’s what that means”

But USAToday got it right
USA Today says, Pres. Trump plans to declare national emergency in response to opioid crisis

I’m hopeful presidential draft a declaration that has some teeth. I’m hoping steps will be taken to stop doctors from overprescribing opium-based paying killers and educate doctors on the proper ways to prescribe these powerful life-threatening drugs.

Hoping President Donald Trump’s declaration includes this

I’m hoping the declaration will call for an unprecedented expansion of treatment facilities across the United States we are physical dependence and addiction are dressed with evidence-based addiction treatment options.

I’m hoping the declaration will call for the establishment of a study of the Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, areas to research what treatment options actually work.

I’m also hoping the declaration will call for the equipping and training of all police officers and EMS workers with the anti-overdose medication Naloxone.

The declaration should have been made about six years ago. Thousands have died while we wait on politicians to use our pain as a political football.

Also, a big thank you to everyone who has marched on Washington, sent emails, wrote letters, made phone calls in support of Presidents Trump taking action and declaring an opioid national emergency.

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Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, Give a man a bass boat here is what happens.

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day,
teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.
Give a man a bass boat, you will never see him again.

First, we give hungry people a fish so they can live.
Then we teach them how to make the fishing pole.
Teach them how to cast the line and use the net.
Later we show them how to make large nets and catch more fish.
Teach them how to take all those fish and feed others, and it all starts over.

It is true that they have to want to learn. But I discover when I started helping people I never run out of people stuck on a waiting desperately withing help

Telling someone they shouldn’t be hungry really doesn’t help, does it?
Being a part of the solution isn’t hard.

But it does happen on purpose.

Be one who helps one.
#Be1WhoHelps1

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    Heroin Doesn’t Care so we have to.