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What can we do as a community to prevent heroin addiction?


The Effects of Heroin

We must educate ourselves about responsible use of prescription opiates. Learn about Heroin. Understand addiction and what responsibility a community has to those who struggle with addiction. Recognize the signs of opiate abuse and heroin use to prevent addiction before it can take hold. See addiction for what it is, a disease, much like cancer or diabetes that can be treated. Face the reality that opiate abuse and heroin addiction is in every community in some form. Realize that ignoring these things only allows this crisis to destroy our community. You may not be affected by heroin or opiate abuse directly but crimes of theft and even assault can be directly related to this crisis.


We have to face the fact that Heroin affects us all.

No community is immune.


Dr. Ted Parran, Addiction Specialist and Co-Director of Rosary Hall at St. Vincent Hospital, explains that addiction is a disease. He says that while addicts should not feel guilty for their addictions, they are responsible for their behaviors. And they are responsible for getting the help they need to treat their disease.

Judge Michael John Ryan, Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, sees the effects of heroin everyday in his courtroom. But Judge Ryan’s mother also battled heroin addiction, and died from an overdose at the age of 29. He knows the effects of heroin on a community and on families.

Dr. Parran and Judge Ryan present the warning signs of heroin use, the effects of heroin abuse and offer counsel on our responsibility to prevent and treat addiction within our communities.


The Cuyahoga County
Opiate Collaborative

The Cuyahoga County Opiate Collaborative is an initiative of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to address the Heroin and opiate epidemic in the county. The Collaborative unites government agencies, local nonprofit organizations, health systems, law enforcement agencies, news agencies and treatment centers through an Opiate Task Force. The purpose of this task force is to reduce the impact of Heroin and opiate addiction in our region. The Opiate Collaborative hosts task force meetings several times a year. Learn more about the Cuyahoga County Opiate Collaborative here.

A Community Action Plan

On November 21, 2013, more than 600 people – doctors, prosecutors, police, addict specialists, social workers, educators, relatives of heroin users and even some users themselves – gathered at the Cleveland Clinic for a day-long discussion of how to address Northeast Ohio’s heroin epidemic. But more than a long and useful conversation, the Heroin Summit was a call to action. A series of working groups were organized that continue to meet to draft and implement strategies aimed at saving lives. Follow their progress here.

Heroin Use Statistics:

In 2011, 4.2 million Americans aged 12 or older had used Heroin at least once in their lifetime.

In one study 35% of patients prescribed long-term opioid therapy for non-cancer pain developed a moderate or severe addiction.


30 Second PSA

Prescription Drug Drop Box


Prescription Drug Drop Box

Since prescription drugs are often the gateway to opiate addiction, ask your doctor to prescribe only the amount needed. Keep your medications locked up and learn how to appropriately dispose of them through the links below.

Visit the Cuyahoga County RX Drug Drop Box Website
Visit the RX Drug Drop Box Website

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Created by a former recovered addict to help those affected by addiction; particularly for people who harbor doubts about whether it’s really a disease or whether treatment works. The disease of addiction is explained in a logical easy to understand manner. This website will help ease the journey others have to travel in coming to terms with addiction, whether their own or a loved one’s. Stories of Addiction
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A collection of interviews with Heroin addicts in recovery and information about how Heroin has impacted Northeast Ohio.


Drug Drop Program Cuyahoga County
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The RX Drug Drop Box Program is an opportunity for residents to dispose of prescription drugs at drop boxes at participating law enforcement agencies across the county.


Faces and Voices of Recovery
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Faces & Voices of Recovery is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that advocates for people in long-term recovery from addiction.


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The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services provides statewide leadership of mental health and addiction prevention, treatment and recovery systems across the state.


Opiate Collaborative of Cuyahoga County
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The RX Drug Drop Box Program is an opportunity for residents to dispose of prescription drugs at drop boxes at participating law enforcement agencies across the county.


SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Association)
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To access and order publications on the topic of heroin, opiod and substance abuse for town hall meetings, Parent Teacher gathering or any other means of spreading awareness and education on the topic.


United Way 211
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Call 211 (or 216-436-2000 in Cuyahoga County) to speak to an Information Specialist who will suggest agencies and other resources to assist you. This community service is provided by The United Way of Greater Cleveland.


WKYC Stories on Heroin
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WKYC has produced a series of stories on the growing Heroin epidemic in Northeast Ohio.