Monday, January 27, 2014

Heroin & Opioid Epidemic in NEOhio

This is a brief summary from todays - Heroin & Opioid Epidemic in NEOhio, discussion in Joint Health/Human Service & Safety Committee today, Monday, January 27th, 2014.

Over 195 deaths were reported in Cuyahoga County in 2013 from heroin overdoses, up 80% in five years. The cost of a dose of heroin nationally is reported as 90% less the cost of prescription pain killers, i.e., OxyContin. Cleveland is home to 50% of the heroin over doses in the County.

Council received a briefing from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Dept. of Public Health, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, MetroHealth and Cleveland Division of Police.

Since initiating Project DAWN in March 2013, MetroHealth reports saving 20 patient's that had fatal overdoses, and have distributed more than 300 Project DAWN kits that include two vials of Naloxone, a medication that can reverse effects of an opioid overdose.

Additional actions being taken to improve education better treat overdoses, reduce deaths and improve and increase treatment include; Plans for expanded training and availability for using Naloxone for Cleveland EMS, next 4 months; support for Ohio HB 170, passage in the Senate (would allow Naloxone prescription to family members and friends - Naloxone cannot be used as an abusive addictive drug); Development of Cuyahoga Cnty Opiate Collaborative website to provide better resources for addicts.

There are additional Committee meetings being planned on this subject that will include testimony from the Courts additional public health and and enforcement officials.

Committee handout materials:

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