Columbiana County may be turning the corner on overdose deaths - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Columbiana County may be turning the corner on overdose deaths

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Family Recovery Center with 4-H Family Recovery Center with 4-H
Children Services with 4-H Children Services with 4-H
Sheriff's Deputy with 4-H Sheriff's Deputy with 4-H
LISBON, Ohio -

Columbiana County officials believe they may be turning a corner when it comes to the opioid epidemic.

But they are concerned several other dangerous drugs may be taking their place.

Ashley Moore is a recovering addict who died and was brought back to life by first responders with the help of Narcan, "I did meth and it was laced with fentanyl which had ultimately coded me out.  I was gone for two to three minutes before they were able to Narcan me and bring me back."

Thirty-one-year-old Moore said she's thankful for her second chance at life and she immediately went into recovery. She's now working, is 14 months sober, and is taking classes online.

But not everyone has been so fortunate during this heroin and opioid epidemic. 

In Columbiana County, 27 people died from unintentional overdoses in 2015.  Overdoses claimed 37 lives in 2016.  Unofficially. 44 people died in 2017 in Columbiana County.

The coroner is still waiting for final rulings in four of those 2017 cases.

So far in the first quarter of 2018, there have been eight deaths from overdoses.

Marcy Patton. the Executive Director of the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, said, "So it seems we're running behind from our previous statistic.  So I hope that's the case.  Because I think many of the things that we've been doing have made a difference and I think that a lot of people are staying away from the opioids a little bit more."

But while Columbiana County leaders feel positive about their efforts in the opioid fight, they feel there are other drugs stepping to the forefront.

"The new ones that we're seeing an increase in are cocaine and methamphetamine.  So meth is a huge concern," Patton said.

Now they're hoping programs in the schools, like early education about the dangers and the risks of the latest threats along with rehabilitation and treatment, will also go a long way towards preventing other addictions.

First responders; including police, deputies, the fire department, paramedics, dispatchers, the drug task force, treatment providers, nurses and doctors, children's services and the community action agency were among those recognized by the governor on Wednesday in Columbiana County.

A proclamation from Governor John Kasich was read by Columbiana County Commissioner Michael Halleck thanking all those on the front line of the opioid fight.

Countless lives have been saved because of their tireless dedication and commitment and their service has not gone unnoticed.

The OSU Extension and 4-H Volunteers delivered nearly 50 gift baskets to those first responders to thank them for their service in this war on drugs.

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