Mary Alice Reporting –

Silhouettes are up once again in municipalities and they highlight numbers of overdose deaths, overdoses not resulting in a death, and that there is always hope.

Thursday was Ohio’s third observance of Overdose Awareness Day, which was established in 2021 by Senate Bill 30. September is also National Recovery Month.

Empower Tusc Coordinator Jodi Salvo says they, along with partnering agencies, once again placed three silhouettes to serve as a memorial remembrance of those lost in the community to addiction.

“Ten locations across Tuscarawas County. One is a black silhouette and it signifies the number of overdose deaths we’ve had in the first six months of 2023. We have a gray silhouette which symbolizes the recorded overdoses that we’ve had in the county those first six months, and then we have a yellow one that says there is hope.”

For the first half of this year, Tuscarawas County had nine overdose deaths and 82 overdoses that did not result in a loss of life. Yard signs with the Hope Line, 330-663-6812, will also be with the cutouts.

As part of the awareness, Salvo adds that information on accessing Naloxone (Narcan) kits is also being spread.

“We encourage every resident of Tuscarawas County to secure Naloxone in case you would run in an overdose in the bathroom, or at in the park, or out in the community because we want our community members to know every single life is worth saving.”

Those kits can be obtained through the Tuscarawas County and New Philadelphia Health Departments thanks to the state run Project DAWN program.

According to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s Office, in 2014, the program distributed almost 3,000 kits, which resulted in 190 known overdose reversals. In 2022, the number of kits distributed had grown to over 205,000 and the known overdose reversals to more than 18,000.

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