Ross County officials fighting against addiction amid OD death spike

Local News

ROSS COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ross County Health District has issued a warning about potent opioids circulating around the county after a spike in overdoses this weekend.

Health officials believe the overdoses are being caused by extremely potent opioids. They said seven people overdosed and four people died from an overdose since Oct. 1.

Officials are warning people not to take any chances and that anyone who takes the product is risking their life.

“It hurts, it’s sad, the first thing I think of is who was it,” said Laken Woods who is in recovery from substance use issues.

Woods said she has been clean for four years now, but her struggles began at a young age. 

“I started using different substances at age 13, 14. So, I was really young.”

She added her journey was like several others which included going in and out of recovery and in and out of jail. 

Woods keeps a picture of her mugshot as a reminder of her journey, a journey that now allows her to help people in the town she’s called home her entire life. She has become a peer recovery supporter.

“It was being able to use those bad experiences for something good. So, it wasn’t like I went through all of that for nothing. It’s actually helpful.”

The peer recovery supporters’ jobs are focused on mentoring and using their life experience to connect with people who suffer from substance abuse issues.

Woods connects one-on-one with people who battle addiction. It’s a place she knows well. 

“Watching them interact with individuals give hope and give resources, it made me cry,” said Tomiah Notestine, a peer recovery supervisor.

Notestine said the program is based on trust. 

Trust that recovery can work and trust that overdose death can soon come to an end. 

“We have seen so much substance use and so much death and brokenness in our community, to watch hope come forth is incredible,” said Notestine.

Last weekend, Franklin County experienced 10 overdose deaths in a period of about 26 hours.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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