Community Gem: New Carlisle woman creates group to support families struggling with addiction

Lori Erion, founder of Families for Addicts

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Lori Erion, founder of Families for Addicts

NEW CARLISLE — When Lori Erion saw a need to help addicts and their families in the Dayton area, she brainstormed a name, created a logo, and had the first meeting all within a month’s time.

In October 2013, Erion founded Families of Addicts, a non-profit organization that educates, empowers and embraces families, friends and individuals struggling with addiction to rebuild families and transform lives.

Erion, 61, founder of FOA and A freelance graphic designer, was nominated as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem by FOA member and friend, Sandra Woodruff.

“Lori developed FOA from scratch,” Woodruff said. “She put out a meetup, and had six people and a pack of twizzlers at the first meeting. From then on, it has just grown and grown.”

Erion knows all too well the toll addiction can take on families. Her daughter suffered from addiction back in 2014, and Erion wanted to give a resource to help families like her own.

“My daughter would tell me what it was like to have a drug addicted mind and body, and it helped me understand her addiction as an illness,” Erion said. “I wanted other families to be able to talk with one another and their loved ones so that they could get the same understanding my daughter gave me.”

Erion and FOA are planning on holding their annual Rally 4 Recovery event again this year on Aug. 29 from 2-6 p.m. at Courthouse Square in Dayton. The event will feature over 50 local resources to help addicts and their families, speakers including the author of Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance, a balloon launch, food trucks and more.

“A lot of people coming to us are feeling so broken because they think they are the only one going through this,” Erion said. “That is what our day is about. Showing people that they are not alone in this.”

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