NORWOOD, Ohio - Leaders across Hamilton County are convening this weekend for a public forum aimed at exploring new and more ways to tackle the region's deadly opioid epidemic.
Across Ohio, more than 4,100 people died from overdoses from heroin, fentanyl and other drugs in 2016: a 36 percent increase from the previous year. For many local cities and counties, officials have said they expect this year to be even worse.
"We want to make sure that local residents -- especially those who have been impacted by this epidemic -- know what resources are available to them and know what steps they can take to help work toward solutions," said Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus, who also chairs the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition.
Interact for Health and the coalition are hosting the community forum -- From Voice to Action -- on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at Norwood High School, 2020 Sherman Ave.
During the morning event, attendees will hear from local healthcare leaders, addiction and mental health experts and get opportunities to work in small groups where they can offer their own input on ways to address the opioid crisis.
Among the group discussions will cover a range of topics including:
- Connecting with the Greater Cincinnati Addiction Services Council
- Narcan training by Hamilton County Public Health
- Building Community Coalitions by PreventionFIRST
- Advocacy 101 - Mental Health and Addiction Advocacy Coalition
- Life After Incarceration by the Office of ReEntry
- Navigating the child custody process by Hamilton County Job and Family Services
A number of local nonprofits and addiction services agencies will also be on site with informational booths, including:
No registration is required to attend Saturday's forum. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. For more details about the Heroin Coalition or Saturday's forum visit the coalition's website here.