Programs providing insight into the local drug culture will be held Oct. 23 and 30 at Worthington's high schools.
The programs are sponsored by Drug Safe Worthington, a coalition of Worthington community members who came together in 2011 to prevent drug abuse and to support individuals and families affected by such abuse.
On Oct. 23 at Thomas Worthington High School, the program will feature a performance of Turn Around, a nonspeaking skit performed by young adults in recovery, plus the sharing of personal stories of their battles with addiction.
On Oct. 30 at Worthington Kilbourne High School, the program will feature a showing of Tyler's Light, Speak Up! Save A Life! It was created in memory of Tyler Campbell, a Pickerington High School North student-athlete who became addicted to prescription painkillers after a football injury in college. He died following an overdose in 2010.
Both events will begin with complimentary, light dinners from 6 to 6:30 p.m., followed by the programs.
Breakout sessions will follow the programs, with the events ending at 8:30 p.m.
Breakout sessions will focus on two areas. Audience members will be presented with information regarding laws on abuse by minors in one session. The second will include information about signs and symptoms of abuse and how teens have learned to disguise use from parents and teachers.
Everyone is invited.
Drug Safe Worthington was formed last year after Worthington police officer Shawn Dysert, who was concerned about what he was seeing on the streets, called a meeting of concerned residents.
Several young adults in Worthington have died from overdoses in the past several years.
In Franklin County, the number of drug deaths increased from 36 in 2000 to 192 in 2010, according to a fact sheet produced by Drug Safe Worthington.
According to the Ohio attorney general's office, Ohio sees four deaths per day from prescription drug overdoses.
According to information from Drug Safe Worthington, one in four users starts by abusing prescription drugs. Heroin, prescription painkillers, crack cocaine and marijuana are all easy to obtain at a relatively low price, the organization's fact sheet states.