A campaign to combat prescription opioid addiction, and believed to be the first in the country, kicked off today in Cuyahoga County. The education effort includes coordinated ads and special print and broadcast programing, with input from a wide range of resources.
Titled “Opioids: Know the Risks,” it enlists the area’s medical, government, law enforcement, education and religious communities. Dr. Ted Parran is an addiction specialist in Cleveland. He says when a community unites around an issue like this, experimentation and abuse go down.
“And so, I think this educational and prevention strategy has many of the hallmarks of a more effective approach than some of what’s been done in a very well meaning way in the past but hasn’t really had the kind of impact that one would hope.”
Last year more than 600 people died from drug overdoses in Cuyahoga County, most from opioids. That number is predicted to increase this year.