CINCINNATI (AP) — People combining forces to battle the opioid epidemic in southwest Ohio say they see reasons for hope coming off a bad year for overdoses, spreading disease, and drug-related deaths.
The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition formed three years ago among public and private officials reported Tuesday on the "state of the heroin crisis" in the Cincinnati area. The hard-hit region is in a state that has had one of the nation’s highest opioid death rates.
Chairwoman and Democratic county commissioner Denise Driehaus (dree-HOWS‘) described challenges at "ground zero." The county’s health commissioner has said he expects the final 2017 overdose death toll to top 2016’s, and there’s worry about rising HIV cases.
But coalition members also described initiatives including needle exchanges, expanding availability of overdose-reversing naloxone and more treatment access.