LORAIN — A founding member of a community drug task force based in Amherst is turning her attention eastward, in hopes of tackling the drug problem in her hometown.
Holly Miller, a Lorain resident who teaches in Amherst, helped put together a community drug task force in Amherst that raises awareness about the heroin epidemic in the community through forums, presentations and talks with students. She hopes to form a similar task force in Lorain, though she knows the larger community will mean a larger undertaking.
“I did see how awesome it’s been in Amherst. I want to do something for the community I live in,” Miller said.
Inspired by a drug awareness rally last week organized by Lori Pinero, who lost her daughter to a heroin overdose in January, Miller and Pinero met with Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera on Wednesday to discuss starting a community task force in Lorain.
Miller said the next step is to sit down with Pinero and figure out how to move forward with the group.
“People want to help. They just don’t know what to do to help,” she said.
Miller said she is turning to the Amherst group for guidance. In Amherst, the community task force held forums for parents and guardians, educating them on drug abuse in the community. They continue to speak with students about the repercussions of drug abuse and have invited parents of heroin addicts to tell their stories of their families’ battles with drugs in a public forum.
“We’re trying to get people from different portions of the population represented so everybody has a voice,” Miller said of her plans for the Lorain group.
Miller said Rivera has offered to help with funding and finding places for the group to meet.
“I don’t think there’s a person in Lorain who hasn’t been touched by this disease. People are finally waking up,” she said.