CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – In observance of National Recovery Month, Ross County Health Commissioner Garrett Guillozet encourages the community to carry naloxone in case of an opioid overdose emergency.
Fentanyl’s presence in illicit drugs has spiked unintentional overdose rates statewide. Illicit drugs are often created to mimic commercial medications and often contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl or another synthetic opioid. Toxicology data from 2019 to 2020 indicates that Ross County had an 84% increase in fentanyl-related deaths. “We are seeing an increase in the quantity and types of drugs laced with fentanyl and other highly potent synthetic opioids,” said Guillozet. “These doses are so high that overdose reversals require more than one dose of naloxone. This is one reason Ross County Health District (RCHD) is adding the easy-to-use intramuscular naloxone product, ZIMHI, to our distribution system.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2021. Two-thirds of those deaths involved fentanyl or other synthetic opioids. “No community in Ross County is immune to addiction,” said Guillozet. “By adding ZIMHI to our available naloxone supply, RCHD is working to ensure everyone can have access to multiple types of effective and fast-acting overdose reversal medications.” Guillozet continued, “Our objective is to ensure that any resident, first responder, or officer can directly access naloxone to help save our neighbors and loved ones from an unintentional opioid overdose. Seconds matter when responding to overdose emergencies and we know that every overdose reversal is an opportunity for that individual to seek a path to recovery.”
RCHD provides free Project DAWN kits. To obtain a free kit, residents can submit a request for training at www.RossCountyHealth.org. Since 1989, National Recovery Month has been observed every September to promote new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices. It also supports the nation’s strong recovery community and honors the dedicated service providers who make recovery in all its forms possible.