Change in reporting non-fatal overdoses


COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine applauded a change made today to the state’s administrative rules that require emergency departments to report non-fatal drug overdoses to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

The Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) approved the addition of rule 3701-3-16 to the Ohio Administrative Code. The rule will take effect April 8.

“We must continue to work tirelessly to address the overdose crisis, to support those in recovery, and to encourage wellness to prevent addiction in the first place,” said Governor DeWine.

The new rule will give state officials a more accurate and current view of non-fatal overdoses in Ohio. It will enhance ODH’s ability to identify trends, including repeat overdoses, and could allow for faster identification of populations or geographic areas disproportionately affected by non-fatal overdoses.

In addition, this data will be valuable in helping determine strategies and allocation of resources such as referrals to treatment or distribution of naloxone and/or fentanyl test strips to help prevent overdoses, especially in these high-burden populations or areas.

“The purpose of this new rule is to improve the coordination of care for individuals who have previously experienced a drug overdose,” said RecoveryOhio Director Aimee Shadwick. “Studies show an elevated risk of death from overdose in individuals who had recently reported a non-fatal overdose. Adding this new reporting feature will provide healthcare professionals with additional tools available in real time.”

“We believe that having this new data will help us reduce the number of drug overdoses, lessen the burden on families and communities, and most importantly, save lives,” said ODH Director Bruce Vanderhoff, M.D., MBA.

Since taking office, Governor DeWine has placed a significant emphasis on curbing drug overdoses expanding naloxone accessibility by 42% since 2022. This proactive approach has yielded positive results, with the number of unintentional drug overdose fatalities among Ohio residents decreasing by 5% in 2022, totaling 4,915 deaths while nationwide there was a marginal 1% rise in overdose deaths during the same period.

RecoveryOhio provides access to naloxone at no cost. Visit to order this lifesaving medicine.

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