Ohio University creates task force to tackle deadly opioid epidemic

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ATHENS -- Ohio University has created a task force to tackle the state's deadly drug epidemic.

The group will be made up of community members, university staff and health experts.

"Right now, many of our communities are hurting because of this epidemic, and Ohio University has a moral obligation to assist the communities we serve," said President M. Duane Nellis in a news release from the university. "By forming this task force, we can combat this epidemic in a concerted, coordinated manner and leverage our collective expertise to save lives and enact real change toward the betterment of our region."

The group has also been charged to analyze existing efforts and develop recommendations within the context of these areas:

  • Conduct a review of OHIO's current efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and provide an assessment of untapped University experts and resources that will further position OHIO to be leaders in the region and strong partners within the state
  • Provide additional coordination of the opioid-related interdisciplinary efforts taking place across OHIO's campuses, including (but not limited to): education, research, clinical, family and child studies, student life, therapy and community engagement
  • Leverage existing public-private partnerships across Appalachia, and the state of Ohio, to better identify and implement solutions that address the wide-ranging effects of opioid abuse
  • Develop an interdisciplinary model that advances the needs of the campus community's unique, rural setting

The group is expected to begin its work within the next few weeks.

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