‘This is vital;’ New crisis line aims to help Miami Valley families impacted by addiction

Almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, yet according to The Addiction Center, only 10 percent receive treatment.

In the Miami Valley around the beginning of the year, Montgomery County reported double the number of drug overdoses at area hospitals than anticipated.

Last week, deputies seized enough Fentanyl in Dayton to kill over 500,000 people.

>> Federal drug charges expected from seizure of 4.4 pounds of fentanyl in Dayton home

A new one-of-a-kind support system is available for those battling addiction.

“I felt really helpless. Because I did not know what to do. I wanted to help them. I wanted them to just stop. I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t just stop,” Becky Walsh said.

Walsh knows the first-hand impact addiction has on family.

“They were living a life that I did not understand,” she said.

Both her son and grandaughter battle substance use disorder.

“That’s not something you can just talk to anybody about. I come from a big family— although I love them all— they just really wouldn’t understand what I was talking about,” she said.

>> Warmline launched by FOA Families of Addicts to support those impacted by addiction

Feeling isolated she learned about Families of Addicts and decided to visit a meeting.

Once there she said she learned a lot about the addiction community.

“When my son came to me and was ready to stop using I knew. I had tools,” she said.

Now she’s using those tools as a volunteer on FOA’s new warmline.

Not only is she trained on how to support those in addiction and their families but she lived it.

Anita Kitchen, FOA’s executive director, said they are the only crisis line available to help families of those impacted by addiction.

“This is like getting the family healthy so then when you’re loved one is ready to get healthy— you have the tools to help get them there,” she said.

Just like Walsh, each volunteer has some lived experience.

While the line is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., they are always checking it.

Now with both her son and granddaughter in long-term recovery, Becky wants people to know there’s help out there.

“There are people out there who experience this. They don’t wear a sign, you know they don’t advertise it, but they’re there,” Walsh said.

People can call or text 567-FOA-LINK (567-362-5465) and a trained volunteer will follow up to provide assistance.