Opiod Overdose Prevention
Opioid Overdose Prevention:
Several agencies are working to combat opioid and heroin overdoses in the Greater Cincinnati area. At a time when the news is riddled with stories of people overdosing from these addictive drugs, combating overdoses and treating those suffering from substance abuse is critical. Survivors of trafficking may experience substance abuse, so understanding the resources in the community that address challenges, like overdoses, is critical to helping survivors. Here are resources and information about some of the ways overdoses are being combated on a local, state, and national level.
Center for Addictions Treatment (CAT) provides assessment and medical care to individuals experience addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling. Physicians at CAT prescribe naloxone to patients with opioid dependence upon their discharge from their treatment facility. Naloxone Hydrochloride , commonly known by the brand name Narcan, is a non-habit-forming, prescription medication that, if administered in time, can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Prescribing naloxone to those experience substance abuse puts it into the hands of the people who are most at risk for overdose. They make sure patients are properly educated on the symptoms and signs of an overdose, as well as how to properly administer the drug and call 911 in the event of an overdose.
The Inject Hope Regional Collaborative brings together key community actors from all over Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana to address the heroine and opiate epidemic. They focus on prevention and public education efforts, increasing access to treatment services, reducing the number of fatal overdoses through harm reduction efforts, and controlling the supply. Their harm reduction efforts include supporting increased access to naloxone by law enforcement, and advocating for the purchase of naloxone over the counter.
On a state level, Governor Kasich signed Ohio House Bill 170 into law in 2014. House Bill 170 allows physicians to prescribe naloxone friends and family of those experiencing substance abuse, which places naloxone in the hands of the people most likely to be able to help in the event of an overdose. To learn more about House Bill 170, you can read the bill analysis by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission .
There is also significant work being done to combat opioid deaths on a national level. In July 2016, President Obama signed into law the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA) . CARA is the first major federal legislation related to addiction in 40 years. Under CARA, the federal government hopes to expand prevention and educational efforts, expand availability of naloxone to law enforcement officials and first responders, and launch evidence based opioid and heroin treatment.
All of these organizations or pieces of legislation are taking more steps to combat opioid and heroin overdoses than are listed here. There are various other groups and initiatives that also combat substance abuse throughout the community through treatment, education, and/or advocacy, including First Step Home, Chaney Allen, Sojourner, and many others. Everyone in the community can all take part in addressing this issue by helping to educate others and by supporting these organizations and efforts that exist to prevent substance abuse and to support those in recovery.
Author: Clare Schloemer, ESC Fellow
Date: March 13, 2017