In the dark corners

Normally, our magazine covers lifestyle events and entertains with profiles of the many interesting people living in our area. But once a year, we step back and take a serious look at what’s happening in Lake and Sumter counties. This year, our subject was the opioid epidemic.

It’s in the news daily, and the statistics are staggering, but what surprised our staff was the effect this epidemic is having right here in Lake and Sumter counties. Law enforcement departments in both counties are waging a battle that’s almost like shadow boxing—the target moves with the change in light.

However, that doesn’t mean everything is hopeless. There are too many people in our cities and town that care about others to let this relentless fungus grow unhindered. With agencies like Be Free Lake and LifeStream Behavioral Center and even small facilities like Victoria’s Haven, people in Lake and Sumter counties are reaching out with a helping hand to provide addicts open doors to a way out.

There are also many things being done statewide to battle the rise of opioid addiction
and access to the many and varied drugs that fit this category. So many families have been touched by the horror of what this kind of addiction can do. That’s why help is also provided for the loved ones of those battling addiction.

Fortunately, like life, this magazine isn’t full of just the dark moments. There’s a festival coming in Bushnell where you can chase—and win—your own greased pig. Lake County now has a poet laureate, and there’s a wonderful farm in Okahumpka where you can get amazing organic vegetables, herbs, and honey.

While life does have its ups and downs, the good news is we live in a special place where people care about one another and someone is always available to help. 

I think the Bible says it best, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves,” Romans 15:1.

Until next month,

Kendra Akers