Ohio has not been immune to the impact of addiction and the opiate crisis sweeping the nation. Here’s the latest news on efforts across the state to curb addiction and overdose.
Cincinnati Jail Adds Beds for Inmates’ Addiction Treatment
Ohio’s Hamilton County Justice Center is renovating space to add 92 new beds to help treat addiction in inmates and ease jail crowding. Treating addiction also may help keep inmates from becoming incarcerated again. According to Sheriff Jim Neil, about one-third of the jail’s inmates are dealing with addiction. NaphCare, the health provider for the jail, also began using buprenorphine in May to help inmates detox. Among those 500 people who enter detox every month, nearly 400 are addicted to opioids.
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Several Ohio counties have assembled response teams to address drug overdoses and help survivors and families get help with addiction. This year saw the launch of Project FORT (Fairfield County Overdose Response Team), which has helped about two dozen people receive addiction treatment, out of about 70 drug overdoses in Fairfield County so far this year. Of these overdoses, five were fatal, according to Scott Duff, director of Project FORT.
In Franklin County, the RREACT (Rapid Response Emergency Addiction and Crisis Team) program includes a mental-health nurse and a social worker. Both the Ross County sheriff’s office and Chillicothe police created teams that include a deputy, an officer, and a treatment provider who make home visits to people who have received the overdose drug Narcan.
Local Drug Prevention Coalitions Seek Changes Statewide
Across Ohio, five area coalitions are working to reduce overdoses from opioid misuse. The rate of deaths from unintentional drug overdose in Ohio has reached 5,232 a year, or about 14 a day. The coalitions, funded by the federal Drug-Free Communities Act, each use similar data and aim to prevent or delay drug use in children and teens.
The Fairfield Prevention Coalition, launched in 2014, includes various leaders, experts, and community members. These coalitions work with other agencies and organizations, including law enforcement, mental-health professionals, and churches. Coalitions also use social media to bring awareness to opiate addiction. Goals of these coalitions include changing perceptions of the drugs’ harm and creating incentives for positive behavior.
Treating addiction and behavioral health in Ohio?
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