Town Uses Day of Prayer to Battle Rx Abuse

By: Randy Yohe Email
By: Randy Yohe Email

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- On Thursday, National Day of Prayer, one community took faithful action against rampant pain pill abuse.

Folks in Portsmouth took a prayer walk to a downtown pain clinic, recently targeted in a Federal raid. Then, at a downtown Portsmouth's Tracy Park, they prayed and testified.

A new group has joined the growing Scioto County Prescription Drug Action Team. Peggy Gemperline belongs to the Solace Support Group. The group gives a voice to family members who have lost loved ones to drug related deaths -- victims like Gemperline's nephew Ryan Dickerson.

"He died in June from an Oxycontin overdose, just a month after he started using," Gemperline said. "No one -- his family, coworkers -- knew."

During the march and vigil, prayer activist Julie Allen passed out area pain clinic map, promoting what she calls a pain clinic prayer band.

"Instead of a drive by shooting it will be drive by praying," Allen said. "Circle it seven times, covered in prayer."

Prayers went out for Crystal Chamberlin and Keldon Bowling, the still devastated mother and daughter of overdose death victim Kelly Euton Bowling.

"She died after overdosing on pills," Bowling said. "I was only six, I don't remember he real well. I want people to stop before anymore bad things happen."

Organizers of the Prayer walk and vigil against pain pill abuse say the dozens who came out Thursday represent more than 3,000 Facebook friends. They are using social networking as an agent of support, hope and change.

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