Focus on Addiction

Know the Risks

In 2007, Cuyahoga County reported only 40 heroin-related overdose deaths. By 2016, the death toll from overdoses tied to heroin and its synthetic cousin fentanyl had risen to more than 500. The upward trend continues: In February 2017, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office counted 60 heroin and fentanyl related overdose deaths.

The epidemic extends throughout Northeast Ohio and the entire state. It crosses all demographic and geographic lines. Research indicates that the vast majority of those who end up dead from these illegal drugs began their addiction by using prescription opioid painkillers.

Know the Risks is a new public education campaign aimed at raising awareness of the opioid crisis and the dangers of opioid prescriptions.

Phone Bank on April 6 - Call 866-459-2547

To kick off the campaign, ideastream will host a phone bank Thursday, April 6 from 5pm to 11:30pm. The phones will be staffed by addiction experts from the ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County and local hospital systems who can answer questions and provide help to callers.

April 6 from 5-11:30pm, call: 866-459-2547

For more information on this new campaign and its goal of reducing demand for these dangerous narcotics, visit

In addition to the phone bank, ideastream and other local news organizations will devote time during their programming on Thursday, April 6 to stories about the epidemic and its effects on individuals and the community.

Listen to the Sound of Ideas on 90.3 and watch Ideas on WVIZ/PBS for stories about various aspects of the epidemic. ideastream will continue to cover this public health emergency over time, so keep an eye out for those stories as well.

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