27 Investigates: Heroin Crisis – Impact on Families

A panel discussed drug recovery, the effect on families, and how people can succeed in their rehabilitation programs

Heroin Crisis, Impact on Families


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – WKBN 27 First News held our third panel discussion in a year — “27 Investigates: Heroin Crisis – Impact on Families” — as part of our efforts to find solutions to combat the area’s opiate epidemic.

Panelists included:

  • LeeAnne Cornyn – Ohio Attorney General’s Office – Director of Children’s Initiatives
  • Sandra Stabile Harwood – Trumbull County Juvenile Judge
  • Patty Amendolea – Mahoning County Children Services Case Worker
  • Linda Spies – Runs “Solace of the Valley” and has family members in recovery
  • Chelsea Moran – A recovering mother who has been through Trumbull Dependency Court

Twenty-three-year-old Chelsea Moran started drinking and smoking marijuana at 12 years old and became pregnant at 16. She then progressed to pills and heroin before asking to be part of the Trumbull Dependency Court.

“Recovery is putting yourself first. It’s putting yourself first in a way that’s not selfish. It’s like becoming spiritual. Not religious, but spiritual enough to care about what you’re doing to yourself,” Moran said.

Local resources available for those struggling with drug abuse

Again, the picture out of East Liverpool of the young boy in the backseat of a car with two adults overdosed in the front seat was a topic of discussion.

Patty Amendolea, with Mahoning County Children Services, explained how they would handle a situation like that.

“Immediately, we’re trying to find a relative for that child…That’s number one, first thing we’re trying to do, and we want to find an appropriate relative.”

Linda Spies has dealt with drug addiction with her husband, son, and granddaughter. She started a group called “Solace of the Valley,” which encourages people to talk about the issue.

“I want to go to the Rotary Club and say, ‘I don’t have horns. I’m a mom and let’s talk about this,'” Spies said.

The panel also talked about solutions, one being the Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma program started by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. It’s focused on the kids of drug-addicted parents.

“They’ve experienced a significant amount of trauma watching their parents abuse drugs and they really need some specialized help to overcome that and be successful,” said LeAnne Cornyn, with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

WKBN also provided counselors, who were on hand to answer phones at the TV station Wednesday evening, ready to provide help for anyone wanting to talk about drug addiction.

This is the third panel discussion that WKBN has held on the issue. See all of WKBN 27 First News’ stories on the epidemic in our “Heroin Crisis” section.

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