Many regions of the country are struggling with the issue of opiate addiction, but some communities are banding together to raise money to lower the rate of substance abuse.
One year ago, Ron Burris of Lancaster, Ohio, made it a goal to generate $10,000 to address the opiate addiction running rampant through the area, according to the Lancaster Eagle Gazette. Since creating the Lancaster Cause group to raise awareness of the issue, Burris has collected four times more than the goal he originally set. Recently, Burris was given the community service award by the Lancaster Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce
When receiving the award, Burris commended 18 of his colleagues who helped him reach his goal. In 2011, the group has set the bar at $50,000. The money will be used to provide funds to drug rehab programs that face budget shortfalls.
More than 600 people attended the Chamber of Commerce’s annual award dinner, according to the news source. Orman Hall, the former executive director of the Fairfield County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health board, stated that the community is making notable strides in reducing the crime rate related to illicit substances.
Drug addiction costs the U.S. nearly $484 billion every year, according to the Department of Justice. Drug rehab programs can help addicts detoxify over time.