Ohio County Opens Emergency Overdose Treatment Center
The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio
Jan. 19—A new, 55-bed treatment center in Merion Village that will offer immediate care to people who overdose is set to start receiving patients Friday.
The Addiction and Stabilization Center, operated by Maryhaven, is opening at 1430 S. High St. as a first-of-its-kind effort to relieve pressure on hospital emergency rooms and provide more and faster chances for recovery, officials say.
Firefighters responding to overdose incidents will be able to transport patients directly to the new Maryhaven center if the patients say they want to go there.
"The goal is to stabilize people in crisis quickly and offer immediate access to treatment and, subsequently, long-term recovery services," said Shawn Holt, Maryhaven's president and CEO.
In Franklin County, 10 to 15 people overdose on opioids every day. Emergency responders say those who survive often remain mired in a cycle of drug abuse, overdose and relapse.
Many addicts in the city, as throughout Ohio, face waiting lists for treatment programs even after suffering life-threatening overdoses. City firefighters sometimes administer the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone—also known by the brand name Narcan—10 or more times a day.
That rate has doubled in the past year.
Maryhaven worked with the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County, the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation and other supporters to develop the $7 million project. The center operates on two floors in the Select Specialty Hospital building on the city's South Side.
Maryhaven also announced that Dr. Krisanna Deppen will serve as the center's new medical director. Deppen, who works at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, is an addiction expert who has been at the forefront of care for pregnant women with substance-abuse disorders.
Officials had hoped to open the center in the fall, but the project took longer than expected. State and community leaders got an early look in November; Maryhaven also opened the facility's doors to the community during an open house.
Maryhaven and ADAMH leaders say the stabilization center will play a big part in helping to implement the Franklin County Opiate Action Plan, developed last year to address the epidemic of drug abuse and addiction.