Drug Overdose Prevention


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Take Charge Ohio

MISSION: The mission of the Take Charge Ohio initiative is to empower safe pain management and medication use by educating patients and providing resources for healthcare providers. Together, we can manage pain safely and prevent pain medication abuse.

Vision: Empower all Ohioans to work together to use pain medication safely.




Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone):
Naloxone is a medication that can block the effects of opioids on the brain and reverse an overdose by quickly restoring breathing when administered in time during an opioid overdose. Naloxone is safe and has no potential for abuse. If naloxone is given to a person who is not experiencing an opioid overdose, it is harmless. If naloxone is administered to a person who is dependent on opioids, it will produce withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone does not reverse overdoses that are caused by alcohol, cocaine, benzodiazepines, methamphetamine, or other non-opioid drugs.
Anyone who uses high doses of opioid pain medication or uses opioids recreationally is at risk of overdose. Other risk factors include:
  • Using opioids in combination with anti-depressants, benzodiazepines, or alcohol; like opioids, these drugs impact breathing.
  • Tolerance reduction as a result of not having used opioids recently, for example after release from jail, inpatient treatment, or hospitalization.
  • Health conditions such as asthma or other breathing problems, liver or kidney disease, heart disease, or HIV/AIDS.
  • Using street drugs with uncertain content and potency, for example heroin cut with fentanyl.
A person who is experiencing an overdose may have the following symptoms:
  • Lack of response to stimuli, like shaking or sternum rub
  • Slow or shallow breathing (less than 10 breaths per minute) or not breathing at all
  • Choking, snoring, or gurgling sounds
  • Blue, grey or ashen lips and fingernails
  • Pale and clammy face
  • Slow, erratic, or no pulse
  • Vomiting / Seizures
Project DAWN provides take-home naloxone kits to the public, free of charge. Participants receive training on identifying risk factors, recognizing the signs and symptoms, administering intranasal naloxone, and calling emergency medical services.
For more information about Project DAWN or to refer patients to the program, please call 330-270-2855 extension 125.

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Drug Drop Box:

Throughout Mahoning County, there are free and anonymous boxes to drop off unused, unwanted medication. These drop off boxes are intended to reduce the amount of unneeded medicine in resident’s homes and decrease prescription drug abuse, which has soared in recent years, especially among teenagers.

These drop off boxes will accept prescription pills and medication patches. No needles, syringes, inhalers, creams or liquids please.

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For Prescribers:

In recent years, health care providers in Ohio have made significant progress in transforming the health care system in Ohio to emphasize safe, effective pain management. The resources available on the Ohio Take Charge website will continue to build a culture of responsible prescribing. The website contains educational materials to empower patients to be involved in their pain management care, pain management literature, and Naloxone resource information.  There is also a link for the Ohio laws, rules and guidelines surrounding prescribing of pain medications and prescribing resources including interactive online trainings for physicians and dentists.

The Ohio State Medical Association developed an on-line training for physicians to address prescription drug abuse. The Smart Rx program works to keep medical professionals up to date with the latest news in prescription drug control policy and delivers information in accessible language with as little legal jargon as possible. The training is free for OSMA members and readily accessible to prescribers in a number of partnering health systems such as Mercy Health.

Helpful Materials for Chronic Pain Patients

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Mahoning County Overdose Surveillance Reports :

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