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Opioid Epidemic

Addiction to opiates/opioids is no longer a hidden issue - it is in plain sight. Addiction to opiates is resulting in unprecedented overdose death. In recent years, Ohio has seen an increase in the rates of drug overdose deaths, 80% of which were opioid-related (2014). These numbers continue to rise in counties across the state, being further compounded by fentanyl overdose deaths. We are seeing a similar trend in Franklin County.


The Franklin County Opiate Crisis Summit
March 22, 2017
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The Fawcett Center
2400 Olentangy River Road
Columbus 43210

National City-County Task Force

The National League of Cities (NLC) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) have launched a joint task force to address our nation's opioid and herion abuse crisis. The National City-County Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic is comprised of city and county leaders from across the country and will convene twice to discuss the role of cities and counties in addressing the current crisis. To read about this task force's resources, click here.

Franklin County Opiate Task Force
Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) is a proud partner of the Franklin County Opiate Task Force formed by Dr. Anahi Ortiz, Franklin County Coroner. Our agency participated in the Franklin County Opiate Summit in March 2016 and continued to work with other key partners and the Franklin County Coroner to develop the Franklin County Opiate Crisis Community Action Plan. To read the full plan, click here.

To find out more about the Franklin County Opiate Task Force, click here.

Other Franklin County Initiatives

  • In March 2016, Franklin County Public Health received a $44,789 grant from Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services to purchase naloxone to provide to local law enforcement, emergency personnel and first responders so they can immediately respond to overdose situations in their community.

  • With the grant funds, FCPH received 1,090 syringes of naloxone and 174 Project DAWN (Death Avoidance With Naloxone) kits. These materials were distributed to 8 law enforcement and 7 fire/EMS agencies.

  • In July 2016, an additional $44,789 was made available to FCPH to purchase additional materials for first responders. A community needs assessment will occur in August of 2016, with distribution of materials coming soon after. 

  • In July 2016, The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OHMAS) awarded Franklin County Public Health $11,455 in grant funds which was used to purchase158 Naloxone nasal spray kits to distribute to Southeast Integrated Healthcare Services (Southeast, Inc.) to offer to clients free of charge. To obtain a “Narcan kit,” call Michelle Maguire at Southeast, Inc. at 614-225-0990 ext. 119. This program is open to Southeast clients and non-Southeast clients.

Resources and Additional Information

  • In 2015, naloxone was used more than 16,000 times in Ohio.

  • Naloxone (also known as narcan) is a medication that can reverse an overdose caused by an opioid drug (heroin or prescription pain medications. When administered during an overdose, naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and quickly restores breathing.

  • Naloxone does not reverse overdoses that are caused by non-opioid drugs such as cocaine, benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanex, Klonopin and Valium), methamphetamines or alcohol.

  • Naloxone has no harmful effects. If administered to someone who is not experiencing an opioid overdose, it will not cause harm.

  • The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is committed to an approach that protects the public's health and prevents opioid overdose deaths. For more information, visit