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What's Happening

  • Ohio tapped to receive $4.8M supportive employment grant

  • OhioMHAS has been selected to receive a five-year, $4.8 million Transforming Lives through Supported Employment grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. OhioMHAS will partner with Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services of Erie County and Daybreak, Inc., as well as other state agencies to implement the project, which aims to modernize, enhance, and increase availability and quality of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services to meet the needs of individuals with a severe and persistent mental illness or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. The expected outcome is for Ohio to have the necessary infrastructure in place to maintain, expand, and sustain IPS throughout the state and to increase the number of individuals who obtain and retain integrated competitive employment of their choosing. In addition, Ohio will establish two robust Individualized Placement and Support Supported Employment programs within the state, secure sustainable funding, establish a permanent training program using in-person and virtual platforms and gather/analyze program data in order to make necessary changes to improve service provision. The grant is expected to serve 450 individuals over the five year grant period.

  • Ohio state university opens new alcohol and drug resource center

    Binge drinking, pill popping, and recreational drug use continues to be a major problem among college students, but OSU is hoping to break that trend.  The university is getting a $2 million grant from the Hilton Foundation in an effort to curb drug and alcohol abuse on college campuses.  Ohio State Higher Education Center for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Misuse and Recovery will develop prevention programs that universities across the county utilize. The center will help colleges implement best practices including strategies on how to prevent off-campus parties from getting out-of-control.  “There are things like social host policies which hold the landlord and tenant accountable for serving alcohol to minors,” explained John Clapp, associate dean from the OSU College of Social Work and director of the center. “There are noise codes that can go into place and fire codes that can also go into place to prevent these types of problems.”


    Experts say alcohol and drug abuse is the number one public health problem on college campuses.  Each year, 1,800 students overdose on prescription drugs, recreational drugs, and binge drinking. OSU was awarded the grant because of its established drug and alcohol prevention programs. The university was able to get that money, thanks in part to the work of Sarah Nerad, a recovering addict herself,  who started the Collegiate Recovery Community.  The program helps students have a mainstream college experience while maintaining their recovery. “The biggest thing for students in recovery is to have a strong peer network on campus,” said Nerad. "I want students to know that help is available for you on campus if you're ready to make a change and we're here with open arms ready to embrace you."


    Collegiate Recovery Community will host a number of sober tailgating events during the OSU football season.  They will take place September 27th, October 28th, and November 29th at the Recreational and Physical Activity Center.


    u.s. to allow pharmacies to take back unused prescription drugs

    Federal authorities will soon allow pharmacies and clinics to take back customers' unused prescription drugs such as opioid painkillers in an effort to get addictive medications off the street.

    The change, to be issued in new Drug Enforcement Administration regulations effective next month, will address a long-standing complaint from people fighting opioid addiction that government rules make it difficult to safely dispose of unused pills.

    Under current rules for controlled substances, even a pharmacy that fills a painkiller prescription can't take back unused pills. Instead, consumers can flush unused drugs or throw them out in the trash, though both those options are discouraged because of environmental worries. They can also hand in unused pills to law-enforcement agencies that participate in special drug-take-back programs. While pharmacies haven't generally wanted the hassle of being responsible for old pills, some are expected to heed the government's call, in part to show they are making a good-faith effort to keep drugs out of the wrong hands.

    Attorney General Eric Holder announced the new rule in a video posted on the Justice Department's website, noting that close to four in 10 teens who misused prescription drugs obtained them from family medicine cabinets. "These shocking statistics illustrate that prescription drug addiction and abuse represent nothing less than a public health crisis," he said in the video message. "Every day, this crisis touches—and devastates—the lives of Americans from every state, in every region, and from every background and walk of life."

    The new rule, which covers all prescription drugs, will also allow people to mail unused pills for collection. It wasn't immediately clear how many businesses would offer the service to its customers. Any pills collected will be destroyed.



    Although the initial decision to take drugs almost always is voluntary, research shows repeated use becomes difficult to control. Justin Lusk, 29, of Shelby, Ohio got hooked on painkillers during his junior year at Shelby High School. He suffered an injured knee and ankle, and his doctor prescribed Percocet. “From there, I was hooked,” he said. “It just progressed. I got so used to having them (drugs). When I woke up, I felt like I had to have them.” Scans show addicts’ brains look different than healthy brains in areas that control judgment, decision making, learning, memory and behavior control. It frequently takes months or even years for brain function to recover, Lander said. “It’s like taking a two by four and whacking yourself in the head,” Lander said. Individuals whose parents or close relatives were addicts, those diagnosed with mental health issues, individuals who start using substances as teenagers and men are more susceptible to addiction, research shows. However, that’s not an exhaustive or exclusive list. Relapse rates among addicts — 40 percent to 60 percent — are similar to those for other chronic diseases such as Type I Diabetes — 30 percent to 50 percent — and asthma — 50 percent to 70 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Drug addiction should be treated like any other chronic illness with relapse serving as a trigger for renewed intervention,” the institute prescribes. But when an addict relapses, it’s frequently viewed as weakness rather than a typical symptom of a disease. People rarely chastise individuals hospitalized for lung cancer caused by smoking or diabetes caused by overeating, but addiction is less accepted, said Steve Pasierb, CEO and president of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “People make stupid decisions. Society has always dealt with the health impacts of that,” Pasierb said.














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More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes.

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