Webinar on the Ohio addiction policy inventory and scorecard: Overdose reversal and other forms of harm reduction

Online event

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019
10:30 am

Webinar recording & presentation slides

The webinar provided an overview of the Ohio Addiction Policy Inventory and Scorecard: Overdose Reversal and Other Forms of Harm Reduction.

The report is the second in a series of inventories and scorecards analyzing Ohio’s policy response to the addiction crisis and outlining areas where the state can be more effective. The report focuses on two elements of a comprehensive response to addiction — overdose reversal and harm reduction — and provides policymakers and other stakeholders with the information needed to take stock of Ohio’s policy response to overdose deaths and other addiction-related harms.

The webinar focused on the key findings of the report:

  • Cautious optimism and continued action on overdose deaths. For the first time since the opioid crisis began, Ohio’s monthly overdose deaths started to decline markedly in the second half of 2017. Ohio’s strong policy focus on overdose reversal has likely contributed to this good news, but hundreds of thousands of Ohioans still struggle with addiction, and more can be done to save lives.
  • Hepatitis C presents major challenges for policymakers. Largely due to injection drug use, rates of hepatitis C have increased in recent years. Given the high price of drugs that treat hepatitis C, state policymakers will need to find sustainable ways to cover treatment for thousands of Medicaid enrollees with this disease, and should invest in harm reduction to prevent future infections.
  • Evidence-based harm reduction is an underutilized tool. Ohio can do more to incorporate harm reduction strategies as part of a comprehensive, person-centered response to the addiction crisis.

Guest speakers highlighted some of Ohio’s harm reduction strengths and opportunities for improvement:

  • Zac Holmes, Harm Reduction Program Manager, Columbus Public Health
  • Dr. Shawn Ryan, President & Chief Medical Officer, BrightView

Click here to view the full report, a four-page executive summary and additional detail about the project.