As overdoses rise, DeWine outlines plan to battle drug abuse

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Drug overdoses are on the rise in central Ohio, according to Columbus Public Health.

Columbus’ health commissioner Dr. Myshieka Roberts said during this current rash of overdoses, Naloxone saved several lives.

“More than half of the incidents that they went to and responded to an overdose, individuals had already a dose of Narcan that was administered to them by a bystander,” said Roberts.

That is why she pushes for everyone to have it. Dr. Roberts points to fentanyl as being the main culprit.

Governor Mike DeWine agrees.

“We have seen this change from, it started off as a pain med epidemic,” said DeWine. “People then were switching over to heroin, they’re now switching over to the fentanyl, and that fentanyl is now being mix in with virtually every single drug that is out there, and that’s really keeping the death rate up.”

Five people died from overdoses in a 24-hour span last week, according to the Franklin County Coroner.

DeWine said more work needs to be done.

“This is a work in progress,” he said.

DeWine said his administration wants to focus on preventing drug abuse in three ways.

Start a K-12 age-appropriate education program about drugs, add more money so local law enforcement can expand their drug task force, and highlight where people can get treatment.

“What I hear so often is, ‘My son’s addicted. I don’t know where to go,'” said DeWine.

He said his administration could begin to put this plan into place if his version of the budget is approved.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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