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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 the first 9 months of 2020, the number of overdose deaths in Franklin County was up more than 45.2% compared to the same time frame in 2019.
  • Eighty-seven percent of overdose deaths were attributed to fentanyl in 2020, compared to eighty-two percent in 2019.


  • 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.


  • Hospitals achieved a significant reduction in the amount of opiates prescribed for patients undergoing five outpatient GI surgeries. (Data is for fourth quarter 2020 compared to CY 2017  (baseline).
    • Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (Gallbladder removal using laparoscope), 48.3% reduction
    • Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia (Hernia repair using laparoscope), 49.4% reduction
    • Open Inguinal Hernia (Hernia repair through open surgery),
      45.6% reduction
    • Umbilical Hernia, 39.9% reduction
    • Appendectomy, 48.6% reduction
  • Through September 2020, Franklin County hospitals distributed 89% more Narcan kits (1,970 kits) than in all of 2019 (1,060 kits).