Former Sandusky County, Ohio Sheriff Kyle Overmyer‘s life went into a spiral in 2016, when he was charged and pleaded guilty to 13 felonies. Among those crimes he pleaded guilty to were acts that are common for people who are addicted to drugs. He lied to get doctors to prescribe pain medication to him. He stole drugs out of several drug take-back boxes, meant to help deter drug abuse in the community. And he ended up using public funds on his own needs.
When he pleaded guilty in December of 2016 to charges stemming from those acts, his life changed. He went to prison.
Sheriff Overmyer’s Addiction
Sheriff Overmyer was addicted to painkillers, and like a lot of addicted people do, he resorted to things he considered immoral to try to get his drug of choice. While Overmyer, at age 36, he was struggling with the pain of arthritis in his knee. Physicians dispensed an opioid prescription to help him.
Overmyer soon became dependent on the drugs, seeking out new doctors and creating new ailments to get the higher doses he needed to fulfill his addiction. When he ran out of prescriptions, he even started asking the jail doctor to help at one point. Between August 2013 and early 2015, he was prescribed nearly 2000 pills.
Eventually, he started stealing from local police precincts’ drug take-back boxes under false pretenses. He started dipping into his “furtherance of justice account” that is meant for training for police officers. Instead, he used it to pay family expenses.
His behavior began to get attention from police chiefs, who eventually got the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation on the case. When arrested, he pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was given four years in prison.
Overmeyer’s Journey to Recovery
Overmyer was given bond after his arrest, but it was revoked when he went out and bought a crossbow, which was against the terms of his release. He was then thrown into jail, where he attended his first 12-step meeting.
As he began journeying to recovery from addiction in prison, Overmyer spent a lot of time thinking about the harm he had caused and the life he had been living. He did his time and began looking forward to life outside.
Today, Overmyer is still making amends to his family for the harm he did. But he’s also got a lot of hope and gratitude. He knows that he won’t have a public career in the future; he’s ready to live humbly in the present only.
Life After Addiction
While no longer a Sheriff, Overmyer is now a free man after doing his time in prison. He concentrated on staying sober and staying honest. And he worked to carve a new future by getting an education and a license to be a substance abuse counselor while inside the prison. Part of his reasoning for this course of work was that he would have a job where he would be encouraged to focus on recovery.
While his first job out of prison was at fast food restaurant, he was soon discovered by Nate Kehlmeier, co-founder and CEO of Recovery Institute of Ohio, Overmyer is now helping people battle addiction. Kehlmeier decided he would make an exemplary staff member, first helping with behavioral health and therapy, and now as an outreach person.
“He’s going to be going out and building relationships and letting people know that he’s available to help if they’re struggling,” Kehlmeier told the Fremont News-Messenger.