The City of Columbus and Franklin County have unveiled a new plan to combat opioid abuse.
The plan created in conjunction with the county Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Board focuses on prevention and expanding access to treatment. Doctor Mysheika Williams Roberts is with Columbus Public Health.
She says 10 needle disposal sites will be placed in places where drugs are common, which she hopes will also help stop the spread HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. Williams says there will also be more take-back days to dispose of unused prescription medications. Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther says the evidence-based plan is one state and federal officials have been seeking. He now wants them to help with funding.
Critics say the plan fails to increase the number of rehabilitation centers and beds available for detox, all of which are at or near capacity. The Franklin County Coroner says 173 people died of drug overdoses in the first four months of the year, up 66 percent from the same period a year ago. Ohio led the nation in opioid overdose deaths last year and is on pace to break that record this year.