HAMILTON -- Activists trying to raise awareness of the heroin problem planned a series of weekend events to be apped by a march Sunday through a southwest Ohio city.
Nearly 30 churches are participating in what's called Hope Over Heroin Hamilton, the Journal-News of Hamilton and Middletown reported.
A support and awareness group, Heroin Control, staged its first rally one year ago in Hamilton. That group was started by two mothers whose children were battling addiction. One, Candy Murray Abbott, says she expects a big turnout for Sunday's march.
"The churches were wanting to do something and we wanted to mark the anniversary (of the first rally)," Abbott said. "So this is a really good thing."
Abbott and Tammie Norris have remained active in efforts to improve education, prevention, and treatment in the year since they formed Heroin Control.
One pastor says it's an important time for churches to work together, with Butler County among many Ohio areas hit hard by the national surge of heroin use.
"Heroin is like the death angel," said the Rev. Josh Willis of Grace Chapel of Praise. He's also president of The Good Samarian Inn, which provides faith-based programs. "Churches are losing members of their congregation to it."
The weekend events include music, food, prayer and testimonials from those who have overcome addiction.
The Rev. Lawrence Bishop II of Solid Rock Church in Monroe also helped planned the weekend events. He said it's time for more church involvement in fight addiction. He said treatment and the power of prayer can both help.
"We're throwing a life line to the city, because that is what Jesus said to do," Bishop said.
Information from: The JournalNews of Hamilton, http://www.journal-news.com/cgi-bin/liveique.acgi$sch=jnfront?jnfront