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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

John Carroll University Gets $1.3 Million To Train Opioid Addiction Counselors


John Carroll University is getting a $1.3 million federal grant to train graduate students as counselors in the battle against opioids.

The grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services go to medically underserved areas where people lack access to primary care or have high instances of infant mortality, mental health issues or drug abuse. Over the next four years, John Carroll will use the grant to place 80 grad students in some of those medically underserved areas.

Nathan Gehlert, a professor in the school’s Department of Counseling, says the students will learn how to battle addiction using a team approach.

“You don't just have a doctor or a nurse or a social worker or a counselor working on their own, but you really have people working as part of a treatment team. And the role of the counselor especially when you think about the opioid epidemic -- is essential as part of that treatment team.”

About sixty percent of the grants will fund $10,000 stipends for the students during training. Gehlert adds that the school got the grant because of its ongoing focus on counseling.

“We already require of our students a level of training in substance-use disorder treatments that’s above and beyond what’s required of counselors in the state of Ohio. We also have a substance use treatment concentration that really focuses on training our students to treat in this area.”

Gehlert says John Carroll is also launching a program to train community members as counselors.