It seems like the only news coming out of the Buckeye state is related to the Opiate Epidemic that is gripping the entire nation. The Southwestern corner between Dayton and Cincinnati continues to pump out news of extraordinary overdose deaths. From children finding both parents dead in bed to 13-year-olds dying from overdosing on parents drugs the stories from the Wright Brother’s home is extraordinary.
In the far corner of the state the Steel Valley is dealing with extraordinary volume. Where Dayton’s death’s are dramatic, the numbers from Trumbull County are staggering. More than 107 overdoses were reported from Trumbull County last month alone.
In the Akron-Canton corridor, Stark Cunty has had to resort to mobile morgue equipment to store overdose victims bodies while waiting for the coroner. With all the activity you have to consider the impact on the States Emergency workers. Police, Firemen, EMTs, as well as teachers, and administrators are being presented with some horrific situations on a daily basis. Not only do they have to deal with the death of an overdosing addict, a situation I personally understand, but they also have to deal with the difficulties of comforting the loved ones that are tragically left behind. Imagine what it must be like to spend your entire work day administering Narcan to dead addicts and then breaking the bad news to the family members struggling to understand. This is not just one work day – this is now becoming their everyday. If you live in Ohio and don’t hug and by dinner for every Cop, Fire Fighter, and EMT – then you are not paying attention to what is happening. My pals in the “heart of it all” are really in the “heart of it all” and I pray they continue to have the heart to deal with this epidemic. I have friends administering
Imagine what it must be like to spend your entire work day administering Narcan to dead addicts and then breaking the bad news to the family members struggling to understand. This is not just one work day – this is now becoming their everyday. If you live in Ohio and don’t hug and buy dinner for every Cop, Fire Fighter, and EMT – then you are not paying attention to what is happening. My pals in the “heart of it all” are really in the “heart of it all” and I pray they continue to have the heart to deal with this epidemic. I have friends administering Narcan 4 times a day. Often to the same addict! Men that I grew up with are running schools and school districts where they have to be prepared every morning to explain to young elementary school kids what happened to mommy and daddy following an overdose.
No one is prepared for this! In Portsmouth, a toddler overdosed – A TODDLER. There is no magic bullet – this thing is a wave and the tide cannot turn for more than a year. We are likely still producing more addicts per capita than we are losing. We have decades of overprescribing of Opiate Pain Pills to make up for. Those still living on pills will eventually be introduced to heroin – they are still in the pipeline heading toward heroin addiction and likely overdose.
I wish I knew the answer, but just like those in Columbus, I continue to just read the news and throw up my arms. It was mid-September last year when Ohio Lawmakers debated calling a State of Emergency after 27 Ohioans overdosed in 3 days. That is SEVEN Months ago! People are now dying faster than then! Now What? Now What? The government cannot move quickly enough to fix this (< how will this save an addict’s life today) – and I am afraid that we (the people) have become so used to waiting on some authority to take care of us that we are sitting back watching. Many more are going to die – I don’t think you can wait any longer – What can you do?
Learn what you can – and speak out – make it ok for addicts and their families to ask for help. Learn CPR. Buy Narcan – and have it on you at all times. Meanwhile – if you come up with an answer – please share it…
This post started out being about the impact opiates were having on the business productivity in the Buckeye State – but it turned out there is too much in the way of writing that article – the opiate epidemic in Ohio is so suffocating that I have lost productivity here in Atlanta.
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