Hudson -- Not everyone can stand on the front lines in the war against heroin. However, everyone can do their part to help stem the rising death toll brought on by abuse of this deadly drug and other opioids.
Cover2 Resources, which was created to help opioid users and their loved ones find help, will hold an Oct. 15 fundraiser at the Overlook Grill 1519 Overlook Road in Kent. Hors d'oeuvres begin at 6:30 p.m., with a silent auction and 50/50 raffle.
Cover2 was started by a Hudsonite this year after his son, Sam, died of a heroin overdose Oct. 23, 2015.
"Cover2 Resources was founded in memory of my son, Sam, who we lost one year ago to a heroin overdose," Greg McNeil, founder and president of Cover2, said. .
Sam had been in a variety of treatment programs, according to his father. The family felt that while Sam was fighting the addiction, he "had it covered," according to Greg.
"By all accounts he was doing really, really well," Greg remembered. "A year ago he had a great job, was in love with a wonderful, beautiful woman, and they had a baby on the way -- Sam had everything to live for."
After a relapse, Sam was sent to Florida for a rehab program.
However, after his girlfriend left Oct. 23 for a weekend church retreat, Sam called off work and his father said Sam "made the decision to abuse."
"Ultimately, that was the end," Greg said. "The next day they found him in his game room, in his chair. The heroin he used was heavily laced with fentanyl."
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid first used as a medical anesthetic and is 100 times more potent than morphine.
Fentanyl is more potent than heroin and results in frequent overdoses that can lead to respiratory depression and death.
According to Greg, while the family thought the addiction was being handled, they were naive about the world of opioid addiction.
"So it's our mission to change the way that story ends for some other families," Greg said. "And we hope to do that through education and advocacy."
The family's first initiative was to complete a series of podcasts which interview "people, places and things which make a difference in the world of opioid addiction," Greg said.
Cover2 has completed 45 interviews which include judges, people running treatment programs and politicians who are trying to stem the onslaught of opioid addiction.
Many of those who have been interviewed will be on hand for the fundraiser.
"We are going to have a number of them at the fundraiser," Greg said, calling the night a time of education, advocacy and fun.
Funds raised for the 501(c)3 will go toward expanding education on the dangers of opiates as well as continuing the free podcasts.
The night will conclude with a watch party of the Ohio State and Wisconsin football game.
"We are looking forward to a very fun night and a very important evening for us in terms of cheering where we are at, what we've done and doing a little bit of educating to our guests as well as having a bunch of advocates in that room at the end of the night. Everybody has a role."
And while the program was too late for Sam, he still played a part.
"This was Sam's idea to begin with," Greg said. "He [Sam] talked to me when he was in the grips of addiction and told me that he would really like to do something to help others not go down that road."
To find out more, visit cover2.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.