Hall appointed to OneOhio to fight opioid crisis

Hall appointed to OneOhio to fight opioid crisis

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Holmes County commissioner Dave Hall recently returned from his stint in serving under the Trump administration, taking on a role as Holmes County commissioner, a role he occupied before he became a state representative.

However, while he is ready to take care of business close to home, he has quickly taken over a national and state role as part of OneOhio.

On Thursday, July 7, the Holmes County commissioners passed Resolution 07-07-22-7, approving the appointment of Hall to the OneOhio Region 11 board to serve as the county’s representative alongside the 87 other Ohio county representatives and a board appointed by the state.

“It deals with the settlement proceeds with the state of Ohio concerning the opioid crisis,” Hall said. “I was told as soon as I get the approval, we will call for a meeting and get this process moving forward and start the governance of how this money is going to be dispersed.”

The money Hall referenced was part of the money accrued from a settlement when the State of Ohio sued several large pharmaceutical companies concerning opioids.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s office worked with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Ohio’s local community leaders to create the OneOhio plan to jointly approach settlement negotiations with the drug manufacturers and distributors of opioids.

OneOhio was established to ensure a quality settlement would be recognized that showed every area in the state has experienced hardships by the opioid crisis. OneOhio will outline how these funds can be used.

To launch the work of the OneOhio Recovery Foundation, 55% of all Ohio settlement dollars will go directly to the foundation for addiction abatement and to promote mental wellness.

Late last year DeWine made five appointments to the OneOhio Recovery Foundation board and two appointments to the foundation’s expert panel. The foundation then went on to include representation from each Ohio county.

Hall said Ohio’s effort to distribute the funds saw them compartmentalize the state into several groups of counties, with Holmes County falling into Group 11, along with counties from Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas. He said each county will have a commissioner serve as a representative who will help to begin the process of when and how these funds should be dispersed.

“There will be more news coming,” Hall said. “I will be bringing news back before the commissioners and tell them how it is going to happen.”

According to the Ohio Addiction Recovery Center, the opioid crisis has hit the nation hard, taking the lives of hundreds of thousands and permanently affecting the lives of those who survive.

However, in some parts of the nation, the opioid crisis has run rampant, with one of the most deeply impacted states being Ohio, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an overdose death rate of 39.2 per every 100,000 people. To put that into more perspective, that rate is equal to December’s current COVID-19 death rate per 100,000 people in states like Washington and New Hampshire.

Counties throughout Ohio are launching local county hubs to combat opioid addiction. The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Wayne and Holmes County now serves as the local coordinator for the opioid-prevention efforts in Holmes County and for the existing efforts of the Wayne County Opiate Task Force.

The intervention committee for WCOTF is working to assure community needs related to substance use are assessed and that local programming is available to meet identified needs.

Wayne and Holmes counties have been working through organizations including Anazao, OneEighty, NAMI of Wayne and Holmes Counties, counseling centers, and the health departments to continue to educate the public and support first responders, who are working on the front lines of battling opiate-related problems.