EATON — When Debbie Reynolds lost her son to a heroin overdose last summer, her family sat around a campfire trying to find a way to remember the 24-year-old Logan Apking.
That was when the family came up with the idea of Logan’s Run, a 5K held in Eaton where all proceeds to go to STOMP Addiction’s efforts for drug education and treatment.
STOMP Addiction, an organization of which Reynolds is the founder, has spent the last year educating Preble County youth and helping individuals seek treatment and find treatment facilities.
The idea for STOMP Addiction came to Reynolds while participating in another 5K shortly after the death of her son, only to find herself “stomping” through the race as if each step let out more grief.
Reynolds said that is when the idea of stomping out addiction came to her.
Saturday, Oct. 24 will mark the second annual Logan’s Run. The race kicks off at 9:30 a.m. at the Preble County Courthouse.
Last year STOMP Addiction had only existed a few months before the race took place, but the race still saw some 350 runners participate.
Reynolds has been putting the support to good use.
This year STOMP Addiction has sent four people from Preble County to treatment, including one who has recently left a six month stay at a residential treatment center and has since found a sober living situation in which they have maintained sobriety.
The other three remain in treatment and according to Reynolds, a fifth might soon be on the way.
Sending those already dealing with addiction to treatment facility is far from the only thing the group is doing. Reynolds has also traveled to the National Trail, Eaton, and Preble Shawnee school districts and local churches to share her family’s story with local youth.
One of her main messages to students is how heroin addictions often start. According to Reynolds, 80 percent of heroin addictions start with the misuse of prescription pills like Vicodin and OxyContin.
“No one starts off by shooting heroin into their arms,” Reynolds said, noting her own son’s addiction started when he took a pill for recreational use at a party.
According to drugfreeworld.org, a statewide program STOMP Addiction often uses for informative packets and information, “The most powerful prescription painkillers are called opioids, which are opium-like compounds. They are manufactured to react on the nervous system in the same way as drugs derived from the opium poppy, like heroin.”
Reynolds also acts as an advisor for families currently dealing with an addiction, and said she reminds families of addicts sometimes jail is the best option.
“There is a place and time for tough love,” she said, encouraging parents to become street smart. “Sometimes jail is a choice you have to make. I’d rather go see my son in prison than to see my son in a graveyard.”
According to Reynolds, the future for the organization is to continue to educate locals on addiction and those dealing with addiction.
“They are not worthless people, they’re trapped, they’ve made a bad choice,” she said. “We’ve got to get them (addicts) help and treatment and lose the stigma. If there are legal consequences, give it to them, but let’s call it what it is — it’s a disease and deserves to treated that way. They deserve to be treated with integrity and respect and maybe more people will be willing to come forward and not be ashamed of their addiction.”
Logan’s Run is $20 per person to participate if preregistered and $25 for registration the day of the race. You can register at www.keysports.com.
More information about Stomp Addiction and how you can help can be found at stompaddiction.com, where a treatment facility locator can also be found.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @aschmidt_RH.