The BoMar Club & Drop in Center recently hosted their third annual United in Recovery event on the Jackson County Courthouse Lawn.
Several vendors were on site providing valuable information on the types of services and support that are offered for addicts and their families in the county.
Live music was played, games were set up, food was served, and speakers took to the gazebo to share their struggles and stories of inspiration.
One man, Dewayne Woods, shared a powerful message about what he is doing to assist those who have turned to or have fallen to drugs.
Woods purchased a 1988 black Buick hearse to haul his Harley Davidson motorcycle, or so that was his original intention.
On the way home to Huntington from Cincinnati, Ohio, following the purchase of the vehicle, Woods recalled listening to the radio and hearing about drugs and the epidemic that faces us all today.
“I knew at that moment it was going to be the Heroin Hearse,” Woods said.
What he said “compounded” his reasoning for the Heroin Hearse, were friends and neighbors that had been lost to drugs, as well as the children effected.
“The children who have been caught up in the epidemic, not due to their own fault, but by circumstances in which they had no control,” Woods said.
Woods said he wanted to be able to help children by helping their parents get clean.
Through the Heroin Hearse Project, Woods and others have gone out and helped homeless people and those who are trapped on the streets. They provide water, Gatorade, and canned food such as Beanie Weenies, which Woods said provides them with much needed protein.
Woods has built a small coffin that he uses during his motivational presentations. The coffin contains items he has picked up from the streets, everyday items that addicts have used to get their high. All items have been treated and are sealed to the display.
The small coffin is a box full of knowledge, knowledge that Woods hopes can help families by making them aware of what could be happening around them. Signs that could possibly be a way for them to realize that help is needed.
During his time at the United in Recovery event in Ripley, Woods spoke about Narcan and its value to the community.
According to goodrx.com, Narcan (Naloxone) is an opioid blocker. It is used to treat opioid overdose and temporarily reverses the effects of opioid medicines.
“If nothing else happened on that day, some people understood how valuable Narcan is, not just to the addict, but to us all,” Woods said.
Epidemic education is something that Woods feels is vastly needed. When people know about an issue, they can begin to understand what it details he said.
Another issue that Woods feels strongly about is stigma. He feels the marks that people leave on others is something that can hurt more than the drug itself.
“Everybody deserves life,” Woods said. “Everybody.”
Megen Casto, Peer Support and Events Coordinator at the BoMar Club & Drop in Center, said the event was a success and Woods was a great addition.
“I love how he presents the cold truth,” Casto said. “If we help just one or change one perception it’s a win.”
For more information on events and activities at the BoMar Club, visit them on Facebook under BoMar Club & Drop In Center @bomarclub. Information on the Heroin Hearse can also be found on Facebook at Heroin Hearse @RejectHeroin.