Opiate Task Force of Stark County

OpiateTaskForce_StarkMHAR_Color 2016Opiate Task Force of Stark County was created in December 2011 to address the increasing public health concern regarding opiates. Comprised of law enforcement, medical professionals, treatment providers, criminal justice, community leaders and parents, the Task Force is designed to bring people and resources together from all sectors of the community to develop and pursue goals and strategies.

Goals and strategies of the Opiate Task Force include:

  • Engage the community with a unified goal, coordinate strategies and pool resources
  • Coordinate and facilitate local opiate prevention and education activities
  • Coordinate and facilitate medical professionals around prescribing practices involving opiates
  • Create/enhance a support group for individuals and families that have been impacted by opiate addiction
  • Establish a fatal overdose review committee

The Opiate Task Force meets on a monthly basis and has representation from all community sectors. Some Task Force projects include:

  • Establish through Stark County Commissioners a Day of Remembrance and Renewal to honor those who have lost their lives and celebrate those in recovery
  • Coordinate Opiate Prevention town hall meetings across the county
  • Host Opiate Symposium trainings focusing on continuing education for medical professionals, counselors, social workers, criminal justice and the community in the field of opiates
  • Support the creation of a SOLACE Chapter in Stark County to offer support advocacy for family and friends impacted by the epidemic
  • Complete a mortality review to examine causes of opiate related deaths to help inform further strategies and interventions
  • Assist event coordination along with Drug Free Stark County for Stark County’s Drug Take Back Days
  • Applied and received a grant from the Ohio Department of Health to distribute Naloxone overdose kits to the community
  • Coordinate training law enforcement in the use of Naloxone, as well as distribute overdose kits to 16 local police jurisdictions
  • Assist coordination of attendees to the national UNITE to Face Addiction Rally in Washington, D.C. to combat stigma

In the coming year the Task Force will continue to focus on increasing community awareness and education by holding a Rally as well as the annual Opiate Symposium, increase the number of Project DAWN overdose kits distributed to the community, support the implementation of a syringe exchange program to thwart the spread of hepatitis and other illnesses associated with heroin use and develop an annual report to the community about the cross system efforts to address the opiate epidemic.

Opiate Resources

CDC Releases Prescription Guidelines On March 15, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain to help primary care providers ensure the safest and most effective treatment for their patients. Read the news release » and at-a-glance chart »

Opiate Pocket Pals are available to the community. Contact at Info@StarkMHAR.org to order. View Pocket Pal content »

Opiate Prevention Toolkit Designed for students, educators and for parents, Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery partners with Drug Free Stark County and the Stark County Educational Service Center to make this online resource tool accessible to the public. Opiate Prevention Toolkit »

Project DAWN of Stark County The Opiate Task Force and Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery partnered to bring this community-based overdose education and Naloxone distribution program, which is funded by the Ohio Department of Health, to Stark County to provide overdose prevention kits to residents. Learn more about Project DAWN »

Prevention resources in Stark County Prevention and treatment resources are available right here at home. We all have a stake in ensuring Stark County remains a great place to work, live and raise children. It is crucial all sectors including the criminal justice system, families, the business and medical community, schools and more, be involved for Stark County to be successful in prevention. Learn more about prevention resources »

Sheriff’s Office Tip Line Stark County residents can now contact the Sheriff’s Office tip line at 330-451-3937.


If you have any questions, or are interested in getting involved, please contact Allison Esber, Systems Initiatives Manager, at 330-455-6644 or Allison.Esber@StarkMHAR.org.