COLUMBUS (AP)— Officials from Ohio’s health, addiction and public safety agencies and its pharmacy board hope to curb the epidemic of drug overdoses and deaths over the next year using a variety of strategies, including:
— TRAFFICKING: Work with lawmakers to stiffen penalties for people illegally selling the painkiller fentanyl, support local drug task forces and step up drug-seizure efforts.
— EMERGENCY RESPONSE: Provide resources to make more naloxone doses available and expand public awareness campaign about that opioid overdose reversal drug.
— TREATMENT: Expand addiction treatment program offered through drug courts to seven more counties with high numbers of fatal overdoses, and develop a toolkit that hospital emergency departments can use to help direct overdose patients to treatment and community resources.
— TRACKING: Integrate the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System into more electronic medical records and pharmacy dispensing systems, and make educational information about opioid prescribing part of the licensure process for physicians.
— PREVENTION: Promote drug take-back opportunities for safe disposal of unneeded medications and get more parents, teachers and community leaders signed up for email that offers tips for talking with youth about substance abuse.