Harford County’s Office of Drug Control Policy recently collaborated with Emory United Methodist Church to present “The Hard Truth of Addiction,” a powerful event depicting the feelings of loneliness and desperation felt by those who suffer from addiction. Held on September 20 at the Street, Maryland church, the event drew more than 250 attendees including Harford County citizens and surrounding county colleagues representing nonprofits, and prevention, intervention and treatment specialists.
The evening began with welcoming remarks from Pastor Steve Smith followed by a current picture of the drug environment and statistical overview from Joe Ryan, manager of Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy. Lt. Timothy Mullin of the Maryland State Police gave a report on the drug situation in Harford County and the State of Maryland.
During a dramatic portion of the evening, the lights were turned out and Pastor Smith spoke about what it feels like for someone who is addicted – in the dark, alone, scared, afraid to call out, not knowing what is around. A small light then began to illuminate the room, symbolizing hope, love, and the path of recovery.
Emotional stories of addiction, loss and recovery were also shared by Wendy Messner, of Rage Against Addiction, who tragically lost a daughter to addiction, and Lorri Irrgang, of Let’s Get Real, whose son is now in recovery. A successful young woman who fell into the trap of addiction, and miraculously emerged on the other side to a life of recovery, spoke about her journey. A community conversation then ensued involving the audience, which was immensely engaged in the discussion.
Pastor Smith plans another community event at Emory Church in January 2018. More information on future events can be found at www.emorychurch.org, or by contacting Pastor Smith at 443-752-3111.
To request a community presentation, or for more information about future presentations and events on addiction, or to find help, visit the webpage for the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy at www.harfordcountymd.gov/services/drugcontrol or call 410-638-3333.