Mental Health Board honors local first responders

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The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Union County donated personal protection equipment to the Union County Sheriff’s Office and Marysville Division of Police as part of the board’s First Responder Appreciation Week. The equipment can be used to prevent injuries and illnesses as a result of accidental exposure to drugs. Pictured above, are, from left, Holly Zweizig, of the Mental Health and Recovery Board, Deputy Matt Warden and Sheriff Jamie Patton.
(Photo submitted)

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The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Union County recognized local law enforcement in their on-going efforts to address the opiate epidemic and increase safety among responding officers.
Sponsored by the Ohio Associate of County Behavioral Health Authorities and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the First Responder Appreciation Week themed, “Bringing Help, Bringing Hope” is an opportunity to appreciate those who work directly with individuals struggling to overcome substance use disorders.
“The opiate epidemic has evolved from 10 years ago from prescription pain medication to heroin and now fentanyl,” said Dr. Phil Atkins, director of the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Union County. “As a result, our first responders have had to change the way they respond to each call, in order to reduce the risk of exposure from these potentially deadly drugs.”
The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Union County provided Personal Protection Equipment to the Union County Sheriff’s Office and Marysville Division of Police for use among their officers during a response in order to reduce the risk of exposure.
Officials explained that Fentanyl is a synthetic, man-made opioid, similar to morphine. However, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) warns that it is 50-100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin and be lethal in very small doses, as little as 0.25 milligrams, about the size of five to 10 grains of salt. Because of its potency, accidental touching of the drug can result in serious injury.
Funds were furnished by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services through the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities as a mini-grant to show support and appreciation to those who work directly with individuals struggling to overcome substance abuse disorders.
The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Union County promotes wellness and recovery providing services for those affected by addiction and/or mental health disorders in Union County. Those wanting more information are asked to visit www.mhrbuc.org or call 937-642-1212. For emergencies, call 1-800-731-5577 or text 4help to 85511.



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