DEAD at 18, DEAD at 54. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Opioids including prescription opioids and heroin killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any [previous] year on record. Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.”
Norine Wasielewski, the Zepf Center’s (ZC) Chief Operations Officer for Substance Use Disorders said, “in the United States, 144 people a day die from opioid or heroin overdoses.”According to the Harbor Behavioral Health website, “the number of heroin and other opioid related overdose deaths, tracked by the Lucas County Coroner’s Office representing 19 counties in Ohio and two counties in Southeastern Michigan, has increased from 8 in 2010 to 288 in 2016.”
Across Socio-economic lines
It is important to note, opioid addiction does not discriminate by race, gender, or socio/economic level. “Demographics for opiate deaths in 2016 range [in age] from 25 to 54” said Ms. Wasielewski, which begs the question: is there hope for recovery of opioid addiction, no matter the age? The answer is yes. Funded by Medicaid, mental health boards and grants, the Zepf Center is a non-profit with a staff of approximately 560. While currently “treating approximately 8,000 (individuals) at 13 locations which include facilities, group homes and recovery housing, two to three thousand are being treated specifically for opioid abuse” said ZC’s Administrative Manager, Cherie Schneider.
Access to treatment
- Visit the free walk-in clinic at 2005 Ashland Ave , Toledo, open 8 to 5 pm Monday thru Friday.
- Speak with a social worker.
- Receive an assessment of your addiction needs.
- Have level of care determined.
There is help for the addict, if he or she is READY FOR CHANGE. But the stark reality is that there is collateral damage in the form of the addict’s child(ren), spouse, mom, dad, siblings and grandparents.
One heartbroken but hopeful mother is Judy Thomas of Walbridge, whose son Tim, 39, is addicted to opioids. Ms. Thomas said, “Timmy got hooked when he was in an (auto) accident and had a neck injury. The doctor gave him pain pills and he couldn’t get enough, so he went to the streets and graduated to heroin, the story of many addicts.
Tim, an electrician by trade, is currently incarcerated and awaiting sentencing either to prison or Drug Court. Tim’s Mom hopes he is sentenced to Drug Court. She said she would allow him to live in her Walbridge home with stipulations, such as adhering to the Drug Court orders and mandating that ”his check be automatically deposited into a savings account” where she can monitor it and “start getting him on the right road.”
There is help to kick opioid addiction.
Local resources include: Zepf Center | 419-841-7701| www.zepfcenter.org
Harbor Behavioral Health: 419-475-4449 | www.harbor.org
Unison Health: 419-693-0631 | www.unisonhealth.org