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Education needed to curb opioid epidemic

An extension specialist in Ohio is using a traveling medicine cabinet to bring more attention to the opioid epidemic in rural America.

Theresa Ferrari says the display educates people on just how easily opioids can be accessed.

“Everyone has a bathroom and a medicine cabinet in their house, but lurking in that medicine cabinet could be the pathway to something more serious in terms of opioid addiction,” she says. “Some of the common prescription medications that people might receive for legitimate health concerns are some of the things that are leading to more serious issues.”

She tells Brownfield opioids are an issue in rural areas just as much, if not more than urban areas.

“If you look on a per capita basis then you find out that actually the rural areas are in more serious trouble,” she says. “I think there are many reasons – it’s a very complex issue – on why that could be. It could be about economics and it could be about opportunities that are available and are not available.”

Ferrari says Ohio leads the nation in overdose deaths, but it is a problem across the US.

OSU Extension, Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, Ohio FFA, and Preventative Action Alliance will host a teen forum on the Opioid Crisis on Dec. 2 in Columbus, Ohio. For more information visit go.osu.edu/opioidforum.

Audio: Theresa Ferrari, Ohio extension specialist 

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