© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Community
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

Ohio's Opioid Epidemic Could be Closer than you Think

photo of Teresa Long
ANDY CHOW
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Teresa Long speaking at an Opioid forum in Columbus

Some of the biggest players in the fight against Ohio’s opioid abuse told business leaders that the epidemic might be closer than they think and warned them to be prepared.

The top health official in Columbus wants everyone to have Naloxone. City Health Commissioner Teresa Long says many people might brush off the overdose-reversing drug as something only addicts or their family or friends should have.

Long warned during a Columbus Metropolitan Club forum that anyone could be in a position to have to save a life.

“Join me in thinking, why couldn’t it happen to me? Why not in our workplace? In our church, in our school.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation says Ohio led the nation in opioid overdoses in 2015, with more than 3,000 people dead. Stats for 2016 are expected to be even higher.