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    Maryhaven CEO: ‘Drug overdoses impact everyone…’ We are evolving to meet needs

    Via The Columbus Dispatch
    Oyauma Garrison
    Guest Columnist

    Overdose deaths in Central Ohio have reached as high as 2.5 people per day.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, synthetic opioid fentanyl is the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18 to 45.

    It’s far past time for each of us to ask: What can we do to ensure more people recover from addiction and mental health disorders?

    As the new leader of Maryhaven, I am honored to join hands with our 400 clinicians and professionals to face down the substance abuse epidemic with urgency and commitment.

    Our organization has provided compassionate high-quality, behavioral health care for nearly 70 years.

    Pushing for change

    We never say never when it comes to giving people second, third or fourth chances, and we treat everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.

    Maryhaven has been a positive force but, even so, we need to keep evolving and growing. The community requires it. And lives depend upon it.

    More: Oyauma Garrison named next Maryhaven CEO

    For example, Maryhaven has long worked to prevent overdose deaths by increasing community access to Narcan (Naloxone) which counters the effects of opioids and resuscitates from overdose. Now, we are also calling on state legislators and Gov. Mike DeWine to approve and make law Senate Bill 296.

    This measure increases access to Narcan and decriminalizes the possession of fentanyl testing strips so people can detect this nearly undetectable and lethal substance.

    More: We resuscitate someone ‘literally dying from a drug overdose’ in lobby monthly| Opinion

    Increasing services

    We also are adding more residential treatment beds because one of the most dangerous times for someone in recovery is “stepping down” from detox without options for the next phase of their continuum of care.

    Returning to the same people and places where someone previously used their drug of choice constitutes a “trigger” that can quickly lead to relapse. It’s important to offer safe and healthy places to heal and regain mental clarity.

    More: 4 places that help people struggling with addiction in Columbus and what they need

    We’ve long focused on how families and communities need education and support.

    Drug overdoses impact everyone regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion, orientation, gender, nationality and/or ethnicity. Four out of five people today know someone battling an addiction.

    Our treatment protocols include efforts to help families heal and restore healthy, loving relationships so our clients can go on to be responsible parents, caregivers and neighbors.

    Now, we’re reaching out to businesses too.

    The U.S. economic fall-out of this crisis is a staggering $600 billion annually, in lost productivity, health care and incarceration costs, according to the National Institutes of Health.

    Companies and organizations excel and succeed with a more engaged, reliable workforce. People who have stable employment are better positioned to avoid relapse.

    That’s why we are placing renewed emphasis on access to and support for employment among our clients.

    We look to partner and collaborate with organizations to help us address the social determinants of health, such as housing and employment, as filling these gaps reduces the chance of relapse.

    Reaching the underserved

    Finally, as is all too often the case, inequitable access to treatment means addiction attacks communities of color with even greater fury.

    We will intentionally reach into underserved communities, actively working to overcome the barriers that prevent people from seeking treatment, like stigma and lack of access to care.

    Innovation and processes matter – but only when thoughtfully and strategically connected to client needs and outcomes. Maryhaven has always understood that the issues confronting our clients and their families are shifting, that new neuroscience research is offering greater insights into our work and the diseases we face, and that community needs change based upon economy, technology and a host of other factors.

    We cannot and will not be a static, one-and-done provider. Even our existing protocols must allow for individualized treatment plans.

    That’s why we’re finalizing construction on the previously mentioned inpatient facility that allows clients more time to stay in an environment conducive to recovery, more time to heal and a chance to begin returning to work while still living in a stable environment.

    It’s also why we’re prepping our prevention and treatment teams to provide comprehensive approaches to those who have simultaneously occurring mental health disorders, such as depression and Substance Abuse Disorder or gambling addiction and anxiety.

    Our outside-the-box thinking can create new service models that maximize impact, yield greater returns for the community’s investment, increase economies of scale, offer new paradigms for thought leadership and action, and catalyze a new evolution in our mission, vision, and value execution.

    Maryhaven draws upon a rich history of community service. Our commitment to high quality, compassionate care began in 1953 when the Sisters of the Good Shepherd reached out to care for women struggling with alcoholism. We’ve now served over 300,000 clients. But we can’t stop there.

    We will grow and change.

    The crisis demands it, and our community deserves it.

    Oyauma Garrison is president and CEO of Maryhaven, an addiction treatment and behavioral health provider.


    Columbus Conversation planned about opioid overdose crisis

    WHAT: Dispatch presents Columbus Conversations: “What is the state of the opioid crisis in our community?”

    When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31.

    Where: The Fawcett Center on The Ohio State Campus Conference Theater, 2400 Olentangy River Road.

    Who: Opinion and Community Engagement Editor Amelia Robinson will host the discussion, a partnership between the Dispatch, Central Ohio Hospital Council, Ohio State University and WOSU Public Media.

    Panelists are

    • Erika Clark Jones, CEO, ADAMH Franklin County
    • Dr. Krisanna Deppen, program director, OhioHealth Grant Addiction Medicine Fellowship
    • Brian Pierson, vice president, Community Health and Well-being, Mount Carmel Health System
    • Dr. Erin McKnight, medical director, Medication Assisted Treatment for Addiction Program, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
    • Matt Parrish, Captain, Columbus Division of Fire
    • Dr. Emily Kauffman, emergency medicine physician, OSU Wexner Medical Center East
    • Juliet Dorris-Williams, executive director, The P.E.E.R. Center
    • Andrea Boxill, administrator, Alcohol and Drug Services, Columbus Public Health

    Cost: Free