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Health & Science

Ohio Mayors Want Emergency Center Used for Opioid Monitoring

photo of emergency operations center
EMA.OHIO.GOV

A bipartisan coalition of mayors from 30 Ohio cities are asking Gov. John Kasich to take a major step in fighting opioids. They want an emergency-level statewide clearinghouse to monitor the opioid crisis.

A letter from the Ohio Mayors’ Alliance has seven suggestions for Kasich, including activating the Emergency Operations Center. It’s been fired up in weather crises, and with H1N1 flu in 2009 and the Ebola virus in 2014.

Keary McCarthy with the Mayors’ Alliance says it could help law enforcement, health professionals, communities and the state share ideas, equipment and supplies.

“By bringing the structure together you could actually see a much more efficient delivery of some of these key resources that are costly and are difficult for local cities to stockpile.”

A spokesman for Kasich says the governor will give the idea serious consideration. The state’s official count of last year’s overdose deaths is due soon, but it’s expected the opioid crisis is killing 11 Ohioans a day.