Be Well Special: Exploring the Impact of the Opioid Crisis on NE Ohio

In this Be Well special, the health team explores a range of issues associated with the opioid crisis including the impact on local families, as well as barriers to treatment and the costs to society, as a whole. Click on the box above to view it.




Community Support & Resource Organizations:


Emerald Jenny Foundation

A free and regularly updated database that includes over 1200 resources throughout Ohio for rehab facilities, healthcare providers, counselors and other organizations – “all so you or a loved one can take that important first step.”  Also includes news and information related to addiction and treatment.


Project Dawn at MetroHealth (Cuyahoga County)

Project DAWN is an opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution program. Program participants are educated on the risk factors of opioid overdose, how to recognize an opioid overdose, and how to respond to an opioid overdose by calling 911, giving rescue breaths, and administering nasal naloxone. Eligible participants are given FREE naloxone kits containing two vials of naloxone hydrochloride medication.  

United Way 2-1-1

Serving 26 counties and covering 3.5 million people in Ohio, the United Way 2-1-1 Help Center provides free and confidential 24-hour access to a compassionate professional who will review your options for help, develop a plan and act as your advocate if you are faced with barriers to service. Simply dial 2-1-1 or chat with us for assistance. Se habla Espanol.


Fighting for Alyssa

Founded in July 2015, Fighting for Alyssa is dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of substance abuse and addiction in our communities.


Project 180

A fellowship founded in service and compassion that provides hope, support, and a positive example to the clients and families involved in the Drug Courts of Cuyahoga County.  A Support/Social Group for Cuyahoga County Drug Court clients, alumni, and friends. Get active and stay sober, and have fun doing it.


Let’s Get Real, Inc.  

Provides information, education, and resource assistance to families and loved ones in their journey from


Robby's Voice

Robby's Voice is a community based organization focused on promoting awareness and education surrounding drug addiction.


Mobile App:



ASCENT is a free mobile app set to launch in early 2018.  It connects people in recovery or struggling with substance addiction or mental illness to peer recovery coaches 24/7/365. 





Cover2 Podcast

The Cover2 Podcast is an ongoing series of interviews with people who are making a difference in the fight against opioid addiction. The Cover2 Podcast seeks to raise awareness and to connect users and their families with resources that can literally save a life. 


Rise2Recovery Podcast

A new recovery podcast with one-on-one interviews with industry leaders in recovery, talking about their recovery or mental health story, how they ended up where they are today and advice for listeners.  Hosted by Brian Bailys, founder of Ascent (see Mobile App, above). 



Public Health Programs & Initiatives:


Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction

A booklet by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), designed to help people better understand why people become addicted to drugs and how drugs change the brain to foster compulsive drug use.  The booklet provides scientific information about the disease of drug addiction, including the many harmful consequences of drug abuse and the basic approaches that have been developed to prevent and treat substance use disorders.


Start Talking! Building a Drug-Free Future

An effort is underway across Ohio to prevent drug use among Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens – our children. Governor John R. Kasich and First Lady Karen W. Kasich have launched Start Talking! to give parents, guardians, educators and community leaders the tools to start the conversation with Ohio’s youth about the importance of living healthy, drug-free lives.


Know the RX

In April 2017 Cuyahoga County launched an extensive, collaborative long-term public awareness campaign whose purpose is to educate residents about the potential dangers of opioid prescriptions.   Access local news and information at the link above, and find materials to start your own campaign here.


Stop Overdoses.  Carry Naloxone

The Ohio Departments of Health and Mental Health and Addiction Services launched a multi-media awareness campaign about the signs of a drug overdose.  It includes a website that urges family and friends of people who use drugs to carry naloxone. The site includes a map showing where naloxone kits can be obtained.  The campaign also includes billboards and a radio spot.


Project DAWN (Statewide)

Project DAWN is an opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution program. Program participants are educated on the risk factors of opioid overdose, how to recognize an opioid overdose, and how to respond to an opioid overdose by calling 911, giving rescue breaths, and administering nasal naloxone. Eligible participants are given FREE naloxone kits containing two vials of naloxone hydrochloride medication.   Site includes resources and a list of Project DAWN sites in Ohio.


Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services Boards

Cuyahoga County

Summit County

Lorain County

Lake County

Geauga County

Medina County

Portage County


Cuyahoga County Heroin Initiative

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office is a public service agency responsible for the investigation of violent, suspicious and sudden and unexpected deaths, such as overdose deaths, including those due to opiates and heroin.   See the office’s latest report on Heroin/Fentanyl/Cocaine Related Deaths here.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Information and resources about prescription drug overdoses.


SAMHSA: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.


ideastream Programs:


Be Well: Addiction

ideastream’s hour-long television special about the mysterious and often misunderstood world of addiction.


Be Well: Shane’s Story

Part 1

Part 2


A video portrait by ideastream of Shane Ferrance, a recovery advocate, explaining his story of how he overcame heroin addiction.


Sound of Ideas: Narcan and the Opioid Epidemic

ideastream’s Sound of Ideas radio program about Narcan and the opioid epidemic, featuring Dr. Joan Papp from MetroHealth, Project DAWN and Chief Nick Heimlich from the Springfield Fire Rescue Division.


City Club of Cleveland Panel Discussion: Is There a Solution to Ohio’s Opioid Crisis?

A conversation on possible solutions to Ohio's current opioid epidemic and how to save future generations from addiction, held at The City Club of Cleveland on March 3, 2017.  The conversation was moderated by ideastream Managing Producer Kay Colby, and panelists included Aaron David Marks, Recovery Advocate; Joan Papp, M.D., FACEP, The MetroHealth System; and John Tharp, Sheriff, Lucas County.


Opioid Crisis: Recovery and Roadblocks

From the Statehouse News Bureau, a half-hour program dedicated solely to examining the state’s deadly and devastating opioid crisis.


Know the Risks: The Opioid Epidemic

A special edition of Ideas, taking an in-depth look at the opioid epidemic that's plaguing our region and killing people in record numbers.


Cleveland VA Gets National Recognition

Of all the veteran's hospitals in the country, the Northeast Ohio VA Healthcare System is being recognized for its innovative program to cut down on opioid prescriptions and addiction among the veterans it serves – at a time Ohio sits at the epicenter of the opioid crisis.


Opioid Crisis Drives Interest in Acupuncture for Alleviating Pain

Increasingly, hospitals are including acupuncture as an option for reducing pain.  In the continuing 'Be Well' series on opioids, reporter Lecia Bushak explores acupuncture as an alternative treatment to manage pain.


Fentanyl’s Path Into Ohio and an Innovative Program to Help Addicts Behind Bars

Where do the drugs fueling our nation's opioid crisis come from? Turns out, ordering up a batch is likely easier than you think.  Reporter Nick Castele has that story in this edition of Ideas.  And in a second segment, Be Well reporter Lecia Bushak explores an innovative program for incarcerated addicts to improve their chances of staying sober once they're freed.


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