Last year Ohio witnessed the first decline in drug-related fatalities since 2009. Fatal drug overdoses decreased more than 22% across the state. Unfortunately, Franklin County did not experience the same decline. The county totaled 476 drug deaths in 2018 – the largest death toll in the state and a 10% increase from the year prior. Deadly surges continue to occur:
- March 2018: 18 people died from drugs mixed with fentanyl during a six-day period.
- January 2019: three people died from carfentanil, a particularly lethal synthetic opioid used to sedate large animals.
- May 2019: nine people died in a four-day period, all related to fentanyl.
- September 2019: 10 people died of drug overdoses in the course of one weekend.
Though it is challenging to determine a specific cause for Franklin County’s upward trend, we can identify what methods are effective in reducing drug deaths. Other counties seeing improvement in drug overdose fatalities focus on community-wide collaboration, a significant part of CleanSlate’s treatment model. CleanSlate works alongside other health care providers, counseling centers, health insurance networks, government officials and local communities to expand access to treatment.
“The recent downturn in drug deaths is encouraging, but many Ohioans still need help, particularly in Franklin County,” said Tonya Ward, center manager for CleanSlate East Columbus. “Addiction is a terrible disease, but what CleanSlate wants our communities to know is that it can be treated, and you don’t have to do it alone. We’re here to help, along with many other health care providers in the community. It’s so important for us to work together and we are prepared to work diligently for Columbus and the surrounding areas.”
CleanSlate’s new East Columbus center, located at 37 Robinwood Avenue, hopes to bring relief to patients suffering from addiction and combat the misperceptions that often accompany medication-assisted treatment. Medication-assisted treatment combines behavioral therapy and medications to treat substance use disorders and is approved by the FDA as a safe and effective treatment option.
CleanSlate was founded in 2009 in response to the country’s growing opioid epidemic. Over the past decade, the company has treated more than 50,000 patients in 11 states. CleanSlate operates 7 other centers in Ohio.
CleanSlate East Columbus is accepting new patients. Those interested should call the center at 833-505-HOPE to schedule an appointment. To find out more details about this center, visit cleanslatecenters.com.
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