Addiction Affects Us All

Portage County has seen an unprecedented number of people dying from drug overdoses. We have gone from five deaths in 2011 to 47 in 2016. Most of these are due to opiates that include heroin, pain killers, and fentanyl.

The Portage Substance Abuse Community Coalition is a group of organizations and individuals dedicated to preventing and treating substance use disorders. We would like to share a number of “truths” we have learned about substance use disorders:

  • Every person has value and strengths – the person is more than the addiction

  • The solution to this opiate epidemic is complicated and there is not one simple answer

  • Addiction is a treatable disease that is a mixture of biological (genetic predisposition), psychological, and social factors

  • Many people develop opiate dependence from the use of legitimate prescriptions for pain medication

  • Addiction is a community health problem rather than a criminal or moral problem - We cannot arrest our way out of the opiate crisis

  • Stigma surrounding addiction prevents people from seeking help and isolates families

  • Naloxone (Narcan) helps to keep people alive - it is not a treatment but rather one more opportunity for the person to get help

  • Naloxone has saved adults and children who have accidently misused drugs/medications

  • Relapse is a normal part of recovery

  • Mental health and trauma issues underlie many substance use disorders

  • Addiction affects everyone –families are broken, children are removed from homes, increase in crime, loss of jobs, homelessness, increase in healthcare costs, increase in accidents and deaths

  • In order to develop vital relapse prevention skills, people with addictions need to take responsibility for their recovery with supports

We need a comprehensive array of efforts -- education and prevention programs; withdrawal management; Narcan; outpatient treatment; residential treatment; recovery supports that include jobs, housing, transportation; and efforts to keep drugs out of the county. It takes local, state, and federal collaboration to combine funding and other resources to address and solve the problems of substance use disorders and addictions in Portage County. We need all of you to help with our current epidemic and invite you to join our Coalition by calling 330-673-1756.

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The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County funds services for Portage County residents through its network of agencies. Services help families, adults, teens and children with mental illness, depression, addictions, in crisis and at risk for suicide.


You can contact us via our contact form or follow us on social networks.

155 East Main St.
Kent OHIO 44240

P: 330-673-1756
F: 330-673-1330


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For 24 HR help in a crisis call:

Addiction: 330-678-3006

Mental Health: 330-296-3555

Copyright 2017 by Portage County MHRB - All Rights Reserved