Billboards aim to raise awareness about drug overdose

Billboards aim to raise awareness about drug overdose

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Billboards went up in 15 Ohio counties Monday, including Cuyahoga. The billboards urge friends and relatives of drug users to know the signs of an overdose and get an overdose antidote to reverse a heroin or opiate overdose.

The campaign is focused on 15 counties that accounted for 80 percent of Ohio's fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2014, including 32 overdose deaths in Cuyahoga County.  The other counties are Butler, Clark, Clermont, Franklin, Hamilton, Lorain, Lucas, Marion, Montgomery, Ross, Scioto, Stark, Summit and Warren.

The billboards want to get the message out to administer overdose reversal drug naloxone while waiting for first responders.

Ohio has seen a major increase in overdose deaths involving fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic used to treat severe pain that in its prescription form is estimated to be 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. Ohio had 503 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2014 compared to 84 in 2013. This campaign is a collaboration between the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

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