If your life has not been affected by heroin, fentanyl or another opioid, then you’re one of the lucky few.
Every day, more than 115 people die in the United States after overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
And Ohio has been disproportionately stricken. In 2017, it had the second-highest percentage of overdose deaths per population, second only to West Virginia, according to the Center for Disease Control.
But there are resources available – not just for people struggling with addiction, but for their family and friends, as well.
The libraries in Lake and Geauga counties are teaming with hospital systems, treatment centers, schools and an award-winning, best-selling journalist to help people get the information and resources they need.
The Lake-Geauga League of Libraries have organized a health fair and author talk with Beth Macy – the writer of “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors & the Drug Company that Addicted America” – on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Mentor High School’s Paradigm Building (6465 Center St., Mentor).
From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., people can learn about local resources available to those afflicted by addiction at the Health Fair. Cleveland Clinic, UH, Lake Health, Lake County ADAMHS Board, Hope Over Heroin, Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers, Crossroads, Lake County General Health District, Lifeline and United Way of Lake County will be there with information on their services and resources.
Then, Macy will speak at 6:30 p.m. Few journalists have investigated the nation’s opioid epidemic as thoroughly as Macy. She spent two decades getting to know the people on the front line of crisis.
Macy will share what she has learned from years of interviewing doctors, the addicted and the bereaved. She also will share the reasons she has found for hope in the future.
Afterward, copies of “Dopesick” will be available for sale and signing.
Both the health fair and Macy’s talk are free and open to everyone. The event is organized by the Lake-Geauga League of Libraries, a partnership of all 10 public libraries in Lake and Geauga counties. They combine resources to provide access to education and the arts in the region.
People are asked to register for the Macy’s talk at www.mentorpl.org.