Every human being has innate dignity, and as children of God our collective well-being is intertwined. People who use drugs are beloved by God, but our society often reduces them to their drug use. As we work to quell the overdose crisis in Ohio, we affirm the dignity of all -- and reject any attempt to demean and marginalize our beloved neighbors.
As Ohioans of faith, we commit to building authentic solidarity between people who use drugs and those who don’t. We commit to building healthier communities for everyone by embracing the principles of harm reduction in response to the systemic failure of the “war on drugs,” which is rooted in and perpetuates white supremacy. We commit to lifting people up when systems let them fall and intervening when systems would let people die.
Saving a life shouldn't send you to jail. People who use drugs matter to God. We know this as people of faith. We must make Ohio a true Good Samaritan State by protecting those who save lives by responding to overdoses.
Naloxone Saves Tour
We are traveling across Ohio to make sure that people who use drugs know that faith communities are there for them. We are training people on how to respond to overdoses and act as an agent of resurrection.
Syringe Access in Licking County
As people of faith, we know that God loves people who use drugs. We also know that syringe exchange programs make our whole community safer and healthier. In a spirit of love, we are asking Licking County to lift their ban on syringe exchange programs.
Licking County Group Argues Syringe Programs Save Lives
People of Faith Bless and Distribute Naloxone Saves Kits
On Tuesday, February 18th, faith and community leaders called on the Licking County Board of Health to repeal their ban on syringe access programs.
Providing people who use drugs with life-saving medication is an act of unconditional love to Blyth Barnow, who is trying to spread that idea to faith leaders across the state.
During the Naloxone Saves Tour, we lived our values of dignity and respect for all by training people how to use Naloxone and distributing it.
People struggling with addiction may face an agonizing decision: do they potentially sacrifice their freedom or a friend's life?
Blyth Barnow (she/her) serves as the Harm Reduction Manager for Faith In Public Life Ohio. She is a preacher, harm reductionist, writer and community organizer. She is the founder of Femminary, an online ministry focused on reclaiming dignity by finding divinity in the profane. She is currently working to establish harm reduction resources for faith based communities and has already brought her worship service, Naloxone Saves, to several states. Naloxone Saves celebrates the power of resurrection by training people to recognize and respond to an opiate overdose. Blyth graduated from Pacific School of Religion where she received a Master of Divinity and the Paul Wesley Yinger preaching award.She was an Everyday Feminism Writing Fellow in 2016 and a Collective Safety fellow at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts from 2018-2019.