A three-year, $13.2 million federal grant will help the Cuyahoga County Board of Health collect better data on opioid overdoses, health officials announced this week.
The county will get $4.4 million annually through 2021 to help the board gather and share numbers on suspected drug overdoses.
“I’m really excited about the idea of having a data dashboard and understanding, in as real time as possible, what’s happening in the community,” Cuyahoga County Health Commissioner Terry Allan said. “What’s evolving, what the types of opiates are that we’re seeing on the street, whether there are specific hotspots in the community.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) awarded the money as part of the three-year Overdose Data to Action program (OD2A). OD2A aims to gather timely data around the country on overdose statistics to help develop better prevention and response efforts.
“I think we’re looking at diving a little deeper,” said Vince Caraffi, a supervisor with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. “Why is somebody remaining in treatment? Do they have a supporting factor at home? Do they have somebody they can trust in the community? What are some of those things inhibit people from following up on their treatment and staying in treatment?”
Public health agencies in Franklin County, Hamilton County and Ohio’s state government were also awarded OD2A grants from the CDC.
Also this week, the Ohio Department of Health was awarded a $55.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human to expand access to opioid addition treatments, particularly medication-assisted treatment.