Latest from Harm Reduction Ohio
Harm Reduction Ohio and the Columbus Kappa Foundation asked the state to switch eight of 89 zip codes in its new $2.5 million targeted naloxone distribution effort. Seven zip codes to be added have mostly Black residents and high overdose death rates. One zip is in Gallia County, an Appalachia county with Ohio’s second highest overdose death rate. The proposal would remove eight zip codes for suburban areas with low overdose death rates.
Harm Reduction Ohio released a report today explaining how the state’s new “Naloxone Blitz” plan is racially biased and unfair to many areas suffering the worst levels of overdose deaths, including Ohio’s Appalachian counties. The state plan emphasizes providing Narcan in suburban zip codes with predominantly White residents. The DeWine administration program will spend $2.5 million rushing 30,000 Narcan kits to 89 selected Ohio zip codes. Harm Reduction Ohio will receive 4,500 of those kits. HRO says: Black overdoses matter.
The death toll for 2020 breaks another threshold: 5,000 deaths in a single year. It’s important to remember that a decade ago, when we started because of increases in Oxycontin prescriptions, “only” 1,500 people died of drug overdoses. What mistakes has government made that has caused unprecedented levels of drug adulteration and historic levels of overdose death? It’s hard to think of a policy that has killed more people and caused more harm that the drug war.
A new Harm Reduction Ohio analysis of drug seizure data show that the amount of fentanyl in Ohio’s drug supply may be at record levels in 2021. If so, that would foreshadow a continuation of our state’s record level of overdose deaths. See the data and why it matters in this article.
The zip code with the highest overdose death rate among African Americans was in Cincinnati. The zip code with the most overdose deaths was in Columbus. Overdose death rate for Black Ohioans now exceeds that for Whites. This list will help everyone involved in overdose reduction focus on where need is exceptionally great.
Harm Reduction Ohio lists the Ohio zip codes with the worst overdose rates, plus every zip code that suffered 50 or more overdose deaths since 2018. It’s a heart-breaking list that shows why laypersons — especially people with lived and shared experiences — must be enlisted to distribute naloxone (Narcan) to the stigmatized population of (beautiful!) people at risk of overdose death.
A lot less than you think.
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