Ohioans are dying by the thousands each year as the state grapples with a deadly drug epidemic driven largely by the use of heroin and powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. The state ranks first in opioid deaths. Cuyahoga County officials have labeled the epidemic a "public health crisis" with 2017 on track to claim some 850 lives in this county alone. The epidemic of drug abuse and death can be traced in part to the over-prescription of opioid based painkillers. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control four out of five new heroin users started with an addiction to prescription opioids. That's why Ideastream and the other media outlets in town have joined together with government, law enforcement and medical agencies as part of a community wide education and awareness campaign called "Know the Risks".
-Dr. Ted Parran, MD, Addiction Expert, Co-Medical Director, Rosary Hall, St. Vincent Charity Hospital
-Chief Matt Vanyo, Olmsted Township Police Department, Safe Passages
-Officer David Kammerman, Berea Police Department, Safe Passages
-Shane Ferrence, Student
-Chris Pappas, Veteran