© 2024 WYSO
Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Greene County Public Health hosted an overdose awareness event this week

The overdose antidote, naloxone.
The overdose antidote, naloxone.

Greene County Public Health is warning families of the dangers of fentanyl. The Department says fentanyl remains the biggest contributor to drug related overdoses in our region.

Greene County Public Health is warning families of the dangers of fentanyl. It’s a powerful synthetic opioid that reduces pain. Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.

Wednesday in Beavercreek, the health department hosted the second annual Ohio Overdose Awareness Day event. Greene County Public Health Educator Melody Kingsley said people who use drugs are accidentally taking fentanyl and overdosing.

“Many stimulants, like cocaine and methamphetamines, have been contaminated with fentanyl and people don’t expect that,” explained Kingsley. “Especially pills that are Illegally manufactured, they may say Xanax, they may say Adderall but they’ll have fentanyl and people can overdose with one pill.”

In 2020, Greene county reported 43 deaths related to fentanyl overdose. That number increased in 2021 to 51 deaths. One of those overdose deaths was Blake Ambugey.

“My son suffered from anxiety and depression when he was young. He abused his ADD medication while also self-medicating with marijuana and alcohol,” recalled Blake's mother — Christina Daley. “But last year, he’d really turned his life around. Blake had an apartment, he paid his bills and he had goals.”

According to Daley, last October 1, she and Blake hung out and talked, he then went to his grandparents for dinner. The next day he enjoyed the fair with his father and siblings.

On Sunday, October 3, 2021 Blake hung out in the Oregon District with some people he’d just met. Monday, the Montgomery County Corner called Daley telling her Blake’s body was found in Dayton.

“Everything went numb, everything went black, I thought I was having a stroke,” she said. “Probably the first year, you’re still waiting for them to come through the door. This doesn’t happen to you, it happens to other people."

Now, Christina a member of 4 THEM WE FIGHT — a nonprofit created by mothers whose children have died from a fentanyl overdose. The group urges parents to talk openly with their children about the dangers of fentanyl.

“I hear a lot of people say, 'My kid wouldn’t do that.' What they have to understand is it’s not always someone with substance abuse issues, Daley Kids experiment, kids experiment all of the time. Kids should learn from mistakes, not die from them," she said.

The group also has a billboard project—it rents billboards across the country and posts the pictures of people who’ve died from a fentanyl overdose. Daley said they get donations to help cover the cost. The billboards are in parts of Texas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, Indiana, Kansas and New Jersey.

About three years ago, Greene County Public Health launched Project DAWN—Deaths Avoided With Naloxone (www.gcph.info). People can train online on how to use naloxone nasal spray to counter the overwhelming effect of fentanyl.

“Naloxone can work long enough, about 30-90 minutes, for EMS to get there to get them (overdosed person) breathing again, so they can live again,” explained Kingsley. “Our last surgeon general said ‘it’s more likely in our lifetime more people will use Naloxone on someone than CPR.’ "

The Greene County Public Health Department is one of 11 statewide mail order programs where you can get a free naloxone kit. Learn more at www.naloxone.ohio.gov. You can also get free fentanyl test strips through the mail here.

Recovery from addiction is possible. For help, please call the free and confidential treatment referral hotline (1-800-662-HELP) or visit findtreatment.gov

Kathryn Mobley is an award-winning broadcast journalist, crafting stories for more than 30 years. She’s reported and produced for TV, NPR affiliate and for the web. Mobley also contributes to several area community groups. She sings tenor with World House Choir (Yellow Springs), she’s a board member of the Beavercreek Community Theatre and volunteers with two community television operations, DATV (Dayton) and MVCC (Centerville).

Email: kmobley@wyso.org
Cell phone: (937) 952-9924