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'Our resources are limited': State of Ohio launches new substance abuse dashboard

Posted at 9:08 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 23:24:04-04

LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio — The opioid epidemic is a nationwide crisis that has not spared Ohio in its wrath and Lorain County has been hit especially hard.

“We are one of the hot spot areas unfortunately where we don’t want to be number one,” said Michael Doud, the executive director of the Lorain County Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services Board.

Last year Lorain County had at least 790 non-fatal drug overdoses and 102 fatal overdoses, some of the county’s data is delayed by about three months, so numbers could eventually be higher.

“It’s affecting the families, affecting the children,” said Doud. “It’s affecting multiple systems in the community and we need all the resources.”

This multi-layered impact is why state leaders just rolled out a new substance abuse dashboard, its data goes as far back as 2017.

“These dashboards really show how important it is for us to have a comprehensive and holistic approach when we respond to addiction,” said Aimee Shadwick with Recovery Ohio.

The dashboard digests numbers compiled by multiple state agencies, it even shows types of drugs used in overdoses, and eventually it will show the amount of naloxone distributed in the county.

Shadwick said local counties leaders will be trained on how to use the data so they can target the right areas and issues.

The data will be helpful for places like Lorain County, where so far this year, three people have already died from overdosing.

“Our resources are limited,” Doud said. “We have some harm reduction initiatives that we currently fund, it will allow us to ensure that we are targeting those harm reduction initiatives where there’s a high need.”

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