Ahead of Dayton’s State of the City address Wednesday, community leaders say they’re hoping to see the city continue making progress this year in its fight against the drug crisis.
“Everybody has worked together in our community,” said Jan Lepore-Jentleson, executive director of East End Community Services. “It’s been an amazing story.”
Lepore-Jentleson said she believes groups working together has worked well in Dayton. She and others credit that collaboration as a possible reason the number of overdose deaths dropped by nearly half last year in Montgomery County.
But many agree there’s still work that needs to be done. Lori Erion, founding president and CEO of Families of Addicts, said her group has learned of more people struggling with meth and alcohol.
“We can really create initiatives that help with any substance use disorder, along with mental health,” Erion said.
Erion said she believes the city should also continue making Narcan available to the community.
But Erion said she wants city leaders to address other issues that she believes play a role in recovery.
“We have poverty,” she said. “We have transportation problems. We have housing problems.”
In addition to continued outreach and expansion of treatment options, Lepore-Jentleson said she also wants the city to focus on prevention.
“We’ve got to get to our kids and our families with teenagers so that we don’t repeat this cycle,” Lepore-Jentleson said.
Mayor Nan Whaley will deliver the State of the City address during Wednesday’s city commission meeting at 8:30 a.m. You can watch it live on wdtn.com.