It's hard to define just one issue when it comes to the heroin epidemic in Akron. But for Raynard Packard, it's an issue that he faces on the front doorstep of his recovery institute everyday.
"A woman overdosed here," said Packard as he pointed outside the front door of the Packard Institute in West Akron. "Her car came to to a rolling stop in the middle of the street here and she overdosed. The paramedics pulled up and said 'Oh, she's just number 20 today.'"
Right outside the institute sits a sign with the amount of overdoses so far this year. For Packard, it's a daily reminder of the problem that continues to surface in Akron and surrounding communities.
"For us to be effective, in times of true need, we need to continue to be able to provide those different levels of care."
The institute doesn't have the resources to help everyone struggling with an addiction, but the Packard said he has been able to work with more than a thousand people searching for a way out of the heroin cycle.
"I don't mean a 28-day program," said Packard. "I do mean a sustainable, meaningful, tribal system of care."
Packard said he has come across too many people who have lost their lives while waiting for a bed at a treatment facility. Packard hopes additional funding will be made available to open new facilities and educate kids and adults on addiction.