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Opiate Addiction

Reducing Opiate-Related Addictions and Deaths

In support of the Franklin County Opiate Action Plan, Central Ohio hospitals are collaborating on several initiatives to reduce the number of residents who are addicted to and die from opiate use disorder. Franklin County faces significant challenges as it works to address the impact of addiction on the lives of its citizens, especially addiction to opiates. Opiate addiction has resulted in a dramatic increase in overdose deaths.


  • In 2019, there were 543 overdose deaths in Franklin County, a 14 percent increase from the previous year.
  • Over two-thirds of overdose deaths were attributed to fentanyl, 40 percent to cocaine, 8 percent to heroin, and 4 percent to benzodiazepines.
  • In 2019, opiate-related deaths accounted for 90.4 percent of overdose deaths compared to 89.3 percent in 2018.


  • Overdose Education and Prevention: Participating in community-wide events to educate residents on opiate prevention and addiction issues, including how to administer Naloxone.
  • Treatment of Overdose Patients: Assessing opiate overdose patients and referring them to Maryhaven for treatment in a timely manner. standardizing treatment of opiate-addicted patients in the ED by:
    • Screening and referring patients for hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections.
    • Educating women of childbearing age on the effects of opiates on infants when used during pregnancy.
    • Providing patients with a Naloxone kit and instructions on how to use the kit to prevent future overdose incidents.
  • Reducing Opiate Prescriptions: Working to reduce the number of opiate prescriptions dispensed to patients who are undergoing outpatient gastrointestinal surgeries.


  • 34 community events were sponsored where hospital personnel participated in educating residents on opiate prevention and addiction issues, including how to administer Naloxone.
  • More than 1,050 central Ohio residents attended community opiate prevention and addiction programs. 
  • More than 980 Naloxone kits were distributed during opiate prevention and addiction programs to help prevent future opiate overdose deaths.