City, county leaders pledge $400,000 to fight opioid epidemic

CINCINNATI -- City and Hamilton County leaders will donate a combined $400,000 to fund Narcan distribution, overdose quick response teams and other anti-opioid initiatives in Greater Cincinnati, officials announced in a news conference Tuesday.

"This is a crisis," Mayor John Cranley said. "Your elected officials are putting aside jurisdiction and working together."

"If we do not get this right, no one will be immune from the damage of the opioid crisis," City Council member P.G. Sittenfeld added. "No race, no gender, orientation or socioeconomic background will be spared."

According to Talbert House CEO Neil Tilow, more Americans died of opioid overdoses in 2016 than in the Vietnam War, which claimed around 58,000 lives. That grim statistic illustrates why action is so necessary, he said.

Quick response teams, which visit the homes of overdose victims to connect them with counseling and treatment, will receive the largest chunk of the city and county's combined funds: $215,000.

RELATED: Cincinnati piloting Quick Response Team to fight heroin in Price Hill

The Addiction Services Hotline will get an injection of $120,000, and the Hamilton County Narcan Distribution Collaborative and Hamilton County Heroin Coalition will each get $25,00.

Finally, the city of Cincinnati will donate $10,000 to fund community education and training efforts that officials hope will equip ordinary Hamilton County residents with the knowledge they need to save the life of an overdose victim.

Hacking Heroin initiatives, which invite programmers and tech companies to find new, technology-oriented ways of connecting heroin users with help and treatment, will receive $5,000.

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