Drugs forum set for Nov. 19

Published 4:12 am Friday, November 18, 2016

Tracy Galloway says she hit bottom on Sept. 18, 2015.

She’d been battling drug addiction for years and her father had died recently, but on that day, she was arrested.

“For the first time in 39 years, I was arrested for narcotics and part of my sentence was to go to rehab,” she said.

That rehab set her straight and now, after more than a year sober, Galloway said she wants to help anyone in the community who needs help. Galloway is organizing a drug abuse awareness event in Goodyear Park on Saturday and she said she was inspired to do something after she returned to Bogalusa sober.

“When I was getting settled, I just got to noticing there were overdoses,” she said.

Galloway said she’d see frequent Facebook posts about overdoses and addiction and she wanted to help people.

“It got on my mind about six months ago about doing something of some sort,” she said. “Getting awareness out there.”

It has been a long year for Galloway. She said she knows of seven people in Bogalusa who have died from overdoses in the past year. Three of those have been in her narcotics support group.

“I bet you anything everybody in this community has one family member near or distant who is an addict,” she said.

While Bogalusa does not have any sober living facilities, Galloway said the community does have resources to help addicts. In part, the Saturday awareness event will be a place for people to get introduced to some of those resources.

“(It will be worth it) if I can just save one addict — just one,” she said. “Because I realize I can’t save everybody, but (I hope) I can save one person by putting my story out there and letting people know it’s OK.”

The Saturday event will include guest speakers from Our Lady of the Angels Hospital, addiction experts and former addicts. There will also be a panel discussion that will be open to community questions.

Another reason Galloway wanted to do the event is because when she first tried to get sober, she had trouble finding resources.

“When I started really looking for help back in 2011, we didn’t know what to do. We didn’t know whom to call,” she said.

The awareness event will begin at 5 p.m. with guest speakers. At 7 p.m., there will be a panel discussion and the event is slated to wrap up after 8 p.m.

The drug awareness event will be at Goodyear Park, which is located at 411 Ave. B in Bogalusa.