Small Town News


You still have time to change your story

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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We've heard stories like Joe Johnson's before. A man, who's lost everything to addiction over the course of decades, hits rock bottom. That's where stories like Johnson's split — they typically go one of two directions.

Fortunately, Johnson's story led him down a new path, one where he has sought treatment for his drug addiction and has been improving one day at a time. Last week, he spoke to community members, law enforcement and others at an addiction awareness panel at the Shelton Timberland Library.

Johnson and other brave individuals shared their stories about their struggles with addiction at the event, which included Shelton Police Chief Darrin Moody, counselor Scott Dickinson of New Directions Counseling, author Sandy Swenson and speakers Zack Reynolds and Estoban Pantoja — both recovering addicts.

Mason County residents face a growing epidemic. Drug overdoses continue to rise as heroin use spikes. The use and abuse of meth-amphetamine and other drugs continues to wreck lives — not just of those who use, but their families and friends, too.

We know many residents go down the opposite path that Johnson went. They don't seek help, and continue their destructive behavior. You read about their lives every week, whether it's in our Journal of Record or in our obituaries section.

We hope that community leaders continue to hold community panel events, in which attendees can share their stories and help others who may be facing similar crises. These conversations can literally save lives.

If you don't feel comfortable attending a similar meeting, such as an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, you can always call Mason County Case Management Services at 868-2697, or walk in the office at 151 N. Fifth St. in downtown Shelton.

They're here to help, and so are many Mason County residents. But you have to take that first step.

Copyright 2016 Shelton-Mason County Journal, Shelton, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: June 2, 2016

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