The Intercollegiate Committee of the Opioid Action Commission in Allen County was banking on Tony Hoffman and his message to bring a heightened awareness to the seriousness of the opioid addiction. The messages Tony shared were well received. The outcome of the day that spoke the most to that - 17 Narcan Kits were signed out after the breakout session training - 17 more lives that may be saved. Thank you Tony Hoffman
— Donna Dickman, OCPS Partnership for Violence Free Families

September was a busy month for me an so will October. I literally spoke in Ottawa County on Thursday and Friday, flew to Georgia Friday evening and then back to Ohio on Monday to speak in Lima. So needless to say i've been in Ohio more than the other states in September. It's always great to be sharing my story in the state of Ohio and especially in or around Dayton County, Lima is about an hour from Dayton. I was scheduled to speak three times for the IHOPE Summit. 

IHOPE Summit was a first time event that was aimed at educating a diverse audience about the effects of opiate abuse, ways to help and offer resources but also educate on things like Naloxone (Narcan). Personally it's my belief that every community and member of them should have to go through a educational summit of this type on opiate abuse, especially with the opiate epidemic that our country is currently facing. This isn't just about "heroin" abuse, I think that these summits should be held at school campuses and parents, students and staff should be made mandatory to attend because prescription pain killers are typically the lead in to the opiate abuse issue. A lot of people are not aware that Vicodin can be a dangerous prescription that starts someone off on the wrong path of opiate abuse. These types of summits educate everyone on what to look for, what to look out for and how to react if something does occur. 

I was quite pleased with how well the event was put on by it's organizers. I shared my "One Choice" speech as the 1st keynote. This speech laid out my life story, my mindset and all of the consequences that came with opiate abuse. My second speech was "Breaking the Stigma" and this speech was all about the stigma that comes with being an addict or ex-convict. My third and final speech was the faith component of recovery. I really wanted to to convey the importance of faith in recovery during this speech but also tell the story of how I became a believer in Jesus Christ. This speech was NOT a sermon on the Mount. It was sharing my personal experience but in terms of faith and spirituality it was void of people "Needing" to come to Christ. It was about the importance of a faith and practice of spiritual principles for those who are in recovery and how they help us addicts live day to day. 

It was great to see some people in the medical field, high school students and college students in the audience and I think for the first event all of the staff put on an amazing event. I can imagine that in 5-10 years this event will host 1,000 or more people who are being educated on the dangers of opiate and abuse and how/what to do if they or someone they know is walking down the dark path so many others are currently walking. Thank you IHOPE for allowing me to be apart of your event and share my life/experience/hope with you all!