HARM REDUCTION OHIO Presents: “Heroine of Heroin” speaks July 5 in her hometown near Cincinnati
“Heroine of Heroin”
As seen on Today Show
Thursday, July 5
West Chester, Ohio
Sponsored by HarmReductionOhio.org
From Catholic school in Cincinnati to UC to heroin addiction to sex work to 20 years sober and saving 300 lives
Tracey Helton is one of the nation’s most important harm reduction advocates. She will speak Thursday, July 5th, in her hometown of West Chester, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati.
The event is free and at the library. Please come hear this brilliant, fascinating woman.
Tracey is known as the “Heroine of Heroin” for her leadership in providing drug users with naloxone (Narcan). She did this long before it was accepted wisdom to do so. She still does for users who live in places where Narcan is hard or even illegal to get. She’s saved more than 300 lives.
Tracey’s relationship with Ohio is troubled. She hasn’t been back home to West Chester since she got sober 20 years ago. Her last trip, during the height of her heroin use, is vividly described in this Cincinnati magazine article, “To Hell and Back.”
Tracey felt like a misfit during her Ohio youth. She excelled academically at Ursuline Academy, a respected Catholic school for girls in Cincinnati, and was a scholarship student in the University of Cincinnati . But then…in the short version…she went to San Francisco on college spring break and her life with heroin began.
Tracey first attracted national attention as a fiery, foul-mouthed junkie in the HBO documentary “Black Tar Heroin.” Watch 10 seconds of this video to get a flavor of Tracey then. (The entire documentary is available here.)
Today, Tracey is an accomplished professional woman with a big heart who helps heroin users. She oversees a large harm reduction program for the city of San Francisco. She has a master’s degree, is a PTA mother of three and is author of the admired book, “The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin.” (She was interviewed by Terry Gross on “Fresh Air” about her book.)
She writes a popular blog that stands up for the dignity of all heroin users, active or not, and is a role model for many who have struggled with opioids. Tracey is also considered a public health expert on the subject of heroin use and heroin users, as this talk to a class at Tufts Medical School shows the breadth.
Tracey’s visit to her hometown is timed to coincide with a July 4th vacation with family in the Columbus area. The truth is, the memories of her youth in the Cincinnati area are mostly unpleasant. She agreed to speak in West Chester — located in Butler County, hit hard by overdose deaths — at the encouragement of Harm Reduction Ohio.
If you can, you come hear this formidable and fascinating woman. Her talk is at the library. It is free, open to the public and Tracey will answer any question you have about her life, heroin use and heroin users.
Tracey Helton, will speak at 7 p.m., July 5th, at MidPointe Library, 9363 Centre Pointe Dr, West Chester Township, OH 45069.