Fighting Stigma Among Calls For Stepped Up Response To Opioids At Middletown Forum

Feb 13, 2018

Tonya Revilla at the Your Voice Ohio Middletown opioids forum. Revilla has become an activist since her son's fatal overdose in 2016. She has started a petition that requests more programs for addicts and stricter penalties for dealers. She says she has collected 1,700 signatures so far.
Credit Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Around 50 people took part in a public meeting on Southwest Ohio’s opioid crisis Monday night at Middletown's MidPointe Library, one of a series of such meetings WYSO is participating in this spring for a project called Your Voice Ohio.

At the meeting, many Middletown residents spoke about the need for more treatment and detox services for drug users. Tonya Revilla lost her son to an overdose 19 months ago.

"July 1 of 2016, after he had been clean for five months an old friend of his popped up and gave him the fatal dose," she says, "the same friend that taught him how to use." 

Revilla is pushing for stiffer penalties for drug dealers. She says the man who sold her son the opioids that killed him was recently sentenced to a year of probation. She’d also like to see more services available for pregnant women with drug issues. 

Your Voice Ohio is hosting community conversations in Dayton, Middletown, suburban Cincinnati, Wilmington and Washington Court House in February 2018 to brainstorm with local residents on solutions to the opioid crisis.

Your Voice Ohio brings community members together with journalists from more than 30 Southwest Ohio news organizations to hear from people who have been affected by the opioid crisis.   

Over the next few weeks, there will be more Your Voice Ohio listening sessions throughout Miami Valley, including one Tuesday, Feb. 13 at the Madisonville Recreation Center in East Cincinnati.

For more information about the events, visit WYSO.org. You can RSVP at: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/your-voice-ohio-16503692790.