WYSO

Recovery Stories

WYSO’s Recovery Stories series brings you conversations from the heart of Dayton’s opioid crisis: stories of loss, stories of love, stories of hope and recovery. 

Ohio’s opioid epidemic has killed more than 10,000 people over the last three years, touching thousands of families across the Miami Valley. But numbers alone don’t begin to tell the whole story of the crisis. WYSO’s Recovery Stories series documents the reality of addiction and recovery in our community, with first-person stories of Daytonians personally affected by the epidemic. 

The opioid epidemic has ravaged cities across the United States. And just a couple of years ago, Dayton, Ohio, had one of the nation’s worst overdose death rates. Now, overdose deaths have decreased, and Ohioans impacted by addiction are sharing stories of hope.

Siblings Tiffany and Jeremy started getting high together as teenagers. Now they're trying to stay clean together. They're back under the same roof at the same sober-living facility.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Around five years ago, the mother of a struggling opioid addict launched a support group in Dayton to help other people living with a loved one’s addiction.

It’s called FOA, for Families of Addicts. Central to the group’s mission is an effort to break down the stigma that often surrounds the opioid epidemic.

It’s 7:30 p.m. on a Wednesday evening, and Lori Erion is hosting a meeting of the Dayton support group called Families of Addicts or FOA.

More than 70 people gather in a big room as the meeting gets started.

The opioid epidemic has touched the lives of thousands of people across the Miami Valley. As part of our coverage of the crisis, WYSO wanted to know what our listeners wanted to know. We collected dozens of questions, a lot of them from people wondering how best to help a loved one struggling with addiction or recovery, and how to find support for themselves.

Rebecca Thayer lives with her baby's father and friend in her first-ever apartment in Dayton.
Maddie McGarvey / WYSO

WYSO’s Recovery Stories series brings you intimate conversations from the heart of Dayton’s opioid epidemic.

In this story, we meet Susan Fitzpatrick and Rebecca Thayer, mother and daughter who describe themselves as best friends. Their voices even sound remarkably alike. 

Rebecca, who friends call Becky, is 35 years old and has nearly two years clean. Before entering recovery, her drug addiction led her to a life on the streets. 

Leanna Perez Green and her two sons. Perez Green's husband is retired from the Air Force. She says seeking drug treatment for her teenage son meant facing down stigma in the tight-knit Wright-Patterson military community.
Maddie McGarvey / WYSO

WYSO's Recovery Stories series brings you intimate conversations from the heart of Dayton’s opioid crisis. This episode introduces us to two women whose children have struggled with addiction: Becky Walsh and Leanna Perez Green.

Leanna’s husband is retired from the Air Force. She says seeking drug treatment for her teenage son meant facing down stigma in the tight-knit Wright-Patterson military community.

Friends Dustin Aubry and Bob Lloyd first met at a meeting of the Dayton support group Families of Addicts or FOA. Aubry is in recovery from longterm addiction, and Lloyd’s adult son has an active opioid addiction.
Maddie McGarvey / WYSO

WYSO’s Recovery Stories series brings you conversations from the heart of Dayton’s opioid crisis. Today, we hear a conversation between Dustin Aubry and Bob Lloyd.

They first met at a meeting of the Dayton support group Families of Addicts or FOA. Aubry is in recovery from longterm addiction, and Lloyd’s adult son has an active opioid addiction. 

Lori Yuppa's young son Chase Cummings died from a drug overdose
Maddie McGarvey / WYSO

WYSO’s Recovery Stories series brings you conversations from the heart of Dayton’s opioid crisis. This installment introduces us to two Loris: Lori Erion and Lori Yuppa.

The women share more than just a name. Both have had children touched by opioid addiction.

The experience led Erion to create the Dayton nonprofit Families of Addicts or FOA, to advocate, "that we are not alone," says Erion.

Sarah Clay, a 31-year-old recovering heroin addict, with three of her four children
Maddie McGarvey / WYSO

WYSO’s Recovery Stories series brings you conversations from the heart of Dayton’s opioid crisis. Today, we meet Urbana 31-year-old Sarah Clay.

In 2007, Sarah met her husband Justin. 

“We worked together at a factory. We hit it off pretty quickly. We moved in and I was pregnant within four months,” Sarah says.

Their family grew to include four children. But everything soon changed when the couple fell deep into opioid addiction.  

Andre Lewis and his friend and recovery sponsor William Roberts, who works in social services in Dayton and is a church pastor with nearly three decades clean.
Maddie McGarvey / WYSO

WYSO’s Recovery Stories series brings you conversations from the heart of Dayton’s opioid epidemic. In this story, we meet Trotwood-native Andre Lewis and his friend and recovery sponsor William Roberts.

Roberts works in social services in Dayton and is a church pastor with nearly three decades clean. As Lewis explains in this story, he first met Roberts at a treatment program for struggling addicts. 

What follows is a transcript of their conversation, edited for length and clarity.