The Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services’ list of programs for treatment and prevention of opiates/opioid addiction and other substance abuse added during the past three years covers nearly two pages.

The programs are the result of “hard work of many individuals and organizations” with Tri-County board involved in some way through planning, participation, creation and funding, said Mark McDaniel, Tri-County’s executive director. The agency based in Troy covers Miami, Shelby and Darke counties

“Fentanyl is really the issue,” McDaniel said. “It takes a lot less for someone to OD and a lot more Narcan to bring them around.” It’s not unusual for rescue squads to administer multiple doses of Narcan to revive someone and for some of those people to suffer brain damage from oxygen loss and end up in a nursing home, he said.

Miami County Coroner Dr. William Ginn reported last week that for the first six months of 2017, the county recorded a record 25 deaths due to overdoses. Of those, fentanyl was listed as the most common drug found and in many cases “mixed drug intoxication” was reported, he said.

The most overdose deaths were in Troy with eight followed by Piqua with seven, Covington with three and Tipp City with two.

During the past three years, the Tri-County Board has worked toward strengthening its programs and services across the board from prevention and awareness to residential treatment programs and added support services.

Prevention/awareness programs continue to grow in schools. “We can never underestimate peer pressure,” McDaniel said. Brad Reed, Tri-County director of community resource development, added that success in delaying first use of any substance from age 14 to 19 0r 20 “is a huge gain.”

Three Miami County school districts – Tipp City, Milton Union and Piqua - have participated in a trial of a Wright State University curriculum project that could be expanded to other districts, said Dennis Propes, Miami County health commissioners.

Tri-County has participated in a growing community outreach project that includes town halls/community conversations on what is going on and what help is available. “These community conversations provide an opportunity for us to talk about what is available, to reach out and talk with some family members,” McDaniel said.

The outpatient treatment services already in place have been enhanced with addition of facilities including the Hope House in Troy and Recovery and Wellness offering detoxification services with comfort medications and support, McDaniel said.

“Agencies have ramped up groups with a lot more contact for those in treatment,” he said. The Shelby House for men in Sidney and the Miami County for women in Troy provide residential services for all addictions. Although heroin and opioids overall receive the most attention today, alcohol remains the top drug followed by marijuana, McDaniel said.

Tri-County also offers residential detox through a contract with Nova Behavioral Health and up to 28 day stays for treatment.

People can expect to see more support services for groups such as Families of Addicts, McDaniel said.

The use of peer support specialists also is on the rise.

“They are peers, are typically in recovery themselves and basically assist folks put together a personal recovery plan and help to enact it by navigating the ins and outs,” McDaniel said.

Reed said the peer support specialists are valuable. “They bring credibility to an area where is a lot of mistrust and also stand as living example that recovery is possible,” he said. “They can say, ‘Look at me.’ They understand what relapse is, how you get past it.’

A peer support specialist certification is available, McDaniel said, adding, must have skills for the role include communications and their own sustained recovery.


Info Box:

TriCounty: More on opioid epidemic

Miami County drug overdoses since 2011

2011: 11

2012: 8

2013: 6

2014: 14

2015: 11

2016: 20

2017: 25*

*As of June 30

Drug Overdoses by Patient's Zip Code

June 1 - 30, 2017

Zip Code Number Percent

45318       3             5%

45337      1            2%

45339      1            2%

45356    26            46%

45371      6            11%

45373    19            33%

45383       1            2%

Total      57         100%

Drug Overdoses by Sex

June 1 - 30, 2017

Sex         Number Percent

Female 27            47%

Male      30            53%

Total      57         100%

Drug Overdoses by Age

June 1 - 30, 2017

Age        Number Percent

<18             2               4%

18-24      12              21%

25-34       13           23%

35-49       17            30%

50-64        9            16%

>65             2             4%

unknown  2               4%

Total      57          100%

Source: Miami County Public Health