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00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69e980000Day after day, week after week, the headlines in Northeast Ohio and across much of the country contain news of tragic loss: lives lost to opioids. It’s a problem that knows no bounds: geography, race, gender, level of education or income.The problem took on new urgency this summer as the powerful elephant sedative, Carfentanil, began hitting the streets. First responders armed with their only weapon, the overdose antidote Naloxone, have struggled to keep up with what’s become an overwhelming problem. It’s an issue that’s straining public and social resources. What has become clear is that business as usual is not going to fix the problem.WKSU news has been covering the unfolding crisis. Tuesdays during Morning Edition, the WKSU news team digs even deeper. WKSU reporters will examine what’s led us here and what might be done to turn the tide. Support for Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis comes from Wayne Savings Community Bank, Kent State University Office of Continuing and Distance Education, Hometown Grocery Delivery, Mercy Medical Center, AxessPointe Community Health Center, Community Support Services, Inc., Medina County District Library and Hudson Community First.00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69e980001

A Highly Collaborative Approach to Opioid Addiction Prevention is Launched in Cuyahoga County

Cuyahoga County
The Opioids: Know the Risks camapign kicked offr today in Cuyahoga County

A campaign to combat prescription opioid addiction, and believed to be the first in the country, kicked off today in Cuyahoga County. The education effort includes coordinated ads and special print and broadcast programing, with input from a wide range of resources.

Titled “Opioids: Know the Risks,” it enlists the area’s medical, government, law enforcement, education and religious communities. Dr. Ted Parran is an addiction specialist in Cleveland. He says when a community unites around an issue like this, experimentation and abuse go down.

“And so, I think this educational and prevention strategy has many of the hallmarks of a more effective approach than some of what’s been done in a very well meaning way in the past but hasn’t really had the kind of impact that one would hope.”

Last year more than 600 people died from drug overdoses in Cuyahoga County, most from opioids. That number is predicted to increase this year.