Addiction and the holidays: City on a Hill reaching out to support those who need help

    City on a Hill reaching out to support those who need help (WKRC)

    CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The holidays can be tough for those who have loved ones struggling with addiction.

    Local healthcare providers say the season can be the perfect set up for a spike in overdoses.

    Healthcare providers at Saint Elizabeth Healthcare say that they don't have the monthly data yet to show it, but the cold, illness, family time and holidays, are the perfect storm to spike addictions leading to more overdoses.

    It's also why those who know what addicts feel this time of year want them to know there is hope and help available.

    “I’ve been in ten programs and in and out of jail,” said Cody Jones who, for years, fought a struggle with addiction that took over his life.

    Now, two years clean, Cody Jones is part of the team working at City on a Hill church.

    Cody is emotional about how much his life has changed in recovery.

    “You know it’s like, two years ago I was just hoping to get a couple months clean,” said Cody.

    Addiction specialists at Saint Elizabeth Healthcare say that the holidays can lead to the likelihood of more overdoses. Jonathan Price says he's not surprised. They get a lot of calls for help this time of year.

    “I don't know what the numbers are but I would definitely say that is happening,” said Price. “It’s just another constant reminder of the brokenness.”

    Cody says even if he got to see his family on Christmas “they would enjoy me for a day but when you go back to the streets that memory doesn't very last very long.”

    Cody’s story is now a little different only because he says he has reached out to a God who loves everyone, and who takes everyone just as they are. He says every day he recognizes he has the same struggles as he did when he was addicted, and he reaches out to try and bring others in along the way.

    “I told a guy yesterday, that ‘hey I know right now you can't see until tomorrow but two years ago, I was in the same spot, I was hopeless.’ I've just learned how to give all my addictions over to God,” said Cody.

    As for what everyone can do to try and reach out to those struggling with addictions at the holidays, this time of year, everybody has got to create an atmosphere where people can feel connected in some way.

    The team at City on a Hill and Saint Elizabeth both say that connectedness starts with someone reaching out. You can find out how to do just that by following this link.

    City on a Hill and the ministries they serve, such as Hope Over Heroin, are all donation funded.

    Since holiday stress can also trigger relapse in those who use drugs to cope, providers remind everyone to reach out to those in recovery.

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