Who they need to reach, they admitted, were not those in the room with them but the half-dozen protesters outside the former Golden Acres nursing home on North Ridge Road urging a “no” vote on Issue 14 over concerns about a new tax on Lorain County property owners.

Issue 14 would raise about $2 million annually to turn Golden Acres into Recovery One, a one-stop recovery, detox and support center. Partners in the effort include Lorain County Commissioners, the Nord Family Foundation, The LCADA Way, Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board and the Lorain County Board of Mental Health.

If passed, the levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home an estimated $10.50 per year.

And while members of Citizens for Better Lorain County Government stood at the corner of state Route 58 and North Ridge Road with signs urging voters to turn down the levy, more than 50 people heard testimony from recovering addicts and county officials about what needs to be done to fight the ongoing drug epidemic in the county.

An estimated 21 million Americans have substance abuse disorders from addiction to narcotics or alcohol, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse said 72,000 died from overdoses in 2017 alone. Among them were 132 Lorain County residents.