SUBSTANCE ABUSE LEADERSHIP TEAM (SALT)
County-Wide Collaboration Makes Strides in Overcoming Opioid Epidemic
The Ashtabula County Substance Abuse Leadership Team was formed in March 2017 to address the complex issues of opioid use, misuse, abuse, and overdose deaths in the County as well as gather information for coordinated responses to all substance abuse problems the County may face now and in the future.
The work of the Ashtabula County Substance Abuse Leadership Team includes:
- Reducing the number of drug overdoses
- Increasing public safety
- Increasing public education and information
- Improving a coordinated response to promote prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support efforts
The Ashtabula County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board took the lead in organizing key stakeholders in an effort to combat the epidemic.
Members currently include representatives from the Ashtabula City Health Department, Ashtabula County Commissioners, Ashtabula County Coroner’s Office, Ashtabula County Educational Services Center, Ashtabula County Health Department, Ashtabula County Medical Center, Ashtabula County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, Ashtabula County Prevention Coalition, Ashtabula County Prosecutor’s Office, Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department, City of Conneaut City Manager’s Office, City of Conneaut Fire Department, City of Conneaut Health Department, City of Conneaut Police Department, City of Geneva Fire Department, Elevation, Harpersfield Fire Department, Marcy’s Funeral Home, Northwest Ambulance District, Trumbull-Ashtabula Group-TAG Drug Task Force, and University Hospitals Conneaut-Geneva. Additional committee team members and interested partners include Ashtabula District Library, Catholic Charities, City of Geneva City Manager’s Office, Community Counseling Center, Glenbeigh, Jefferson First Congregational Church, Signature Health and other community member volunteers.
The Leadership Team aims to take a collaborative community-wide approach to combat the drug epidemic plaguing Ashtabula County. The core values agreed upon by the Leadership Team are:
- Addiction is our community’s problem and requires collective and coordinated community solutions.
- Addiction is a major health problem that affects the community at every social-economic level and at every level of community development.
- Through collaboration and the wise use of resources, we can make a difference.
An initial action of the Leadership Team was to create “Your Life Matters” brochures for first responders, hospitals, persons who have experienced a drug overdose, and community members that provide information about an overdose emergency and treatment resources available in the County as well as educational videos around the disease of addiction and secondary trauma.
The Team works to explore and identify additional needs of the community and responds collectively to service issues and accessibility. This work has led to actions such as:
- Expanding treatment options
- Increasing recovery support services such as employment and housing services
- Targeting the reduction of unused prescription medication in the community
- Spearheading the distribution of naloxone in the community to save lives until treatment can be accessed
- Enhancing prevention efforts
- Supporting activities that build positive social connections in our community.