Ohio opioid settlement board: reducing overdose death not part of mission

OneOhio released its first document under Ohio public records law: an outline of its strategic plan for the next three years. Disturbingly, reducing overdose death is not part of the plan. Harm Reduction Ohio believes reducing death should be the No. 1 goal of opioid settlement spending. The deaths of people who use drugs is not acceptable. OneOhio must start involving the impacted population to prevent this type of callous cluelessness from continuing.

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Under court order, Ohio opioid settlement board finally complies with open meetings law!

The OneOhio opioid settlement board complied with Ohio open meetings law for the first time today. The board has held more than 30 meetings in violation of open meetings law since being created on May 16, 2022. Harm Reduction Ohio sued to stop the secrecy — and won. But OneOhio ignored a judge’s March 9 ruling. On April 25, the judge issued a temporary restraining order forcing OneOhio to comply with open meetings law. Today, after fighting it for a year, OneOhio complied with the law for the first time.

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Judge orders OneOhio opioid settlement board to start complying with open meetings law

UPDATED: Now includes copy of judge’s temporary restraining order against OneOhio. The OneOhio opioid settlement board was ordered to start following the Ohio Open Meetings Act, but a judge denied Harm Reduction Ohio’s request that OneOhio be temporarily prevented from spending settlement money because of those violations. A full hearing on the issue is scheduled for July.

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Harm Reduction Ohio seeks to block opioid settlement spending until state board follows law

UPDATE: OneOhio cancels planned secret meeting before scheduled hearing on open meeting violations. STORY: A judge ruled March 9 that the OneOhio opioid settlement spending board was required to follow open meetings law. The board has ignored the ruling and continues to violate the law. On April 12, OneOhio began the process of spending its first $58.3 million settlement payment. All actions taken in violation of the Ohio Open Meetings Act are supposed to be be invalidated. Harm Reduction Ohio asked the judge to block spending before it needs to be invalidated.

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Racial divide in Ohio overdose death rates grow to historic proportions

Overdose death rates for White residents of Ohio fell in 2022. Overdose death rates for Black residents increased, pushing the number of overdose deaths of Black Ohioans above 1,000 for the first time ever. The racial gap — i.e.,, the difference between death rates for White and Black Ohioans — has never been larger.

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Ohio overdose deaths drop slightly in 2022, preliminary data show

Overdose deaths fell in early 2022, then increased in the last few months of the year, according to a Harm Reduction Ohio analysis of state mortality data. The late year uptick in deaths appears to have continued into early 2023, although not enough data are available yet to know for sure.

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REGISTRATION: Conference for Ohio syringe programs, May 22-23, Columbus, Ohio

Register for “Ohio Syringe Services Programs: Building Evidence, Empathy & Equity,” a statewide conference for people who use, operate or want to start syringe programs. The two-day event is sponsored by Harm Reduction Ohio, the Ohio State University College of Public Health and others. Cost: $75 for two days, including meals, parking, continuing education credits, educational materials and more.

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