Some 175 people die of opioid overdoses every day in America now.

Huge number.

Some Ohio Northern students are trying to raise awareness about the quickly evolving, and massive, drug addiction problem in this country.

The ONU National Community Pharmacist Association (NCPA) student chapter has been using their own dues money, coupled with a stipend from the university, to try to raise awareness about the drug epidemic facing the nation.

NCPA Faculty Advisor Deirdre Myers said these students, as future pharmacists, are going to come face-to-face with this issue over, and over. So, in effect, their work with it now is giving them a head start on learning to deal with it.

ONU pharmacy students Matt Borland and Jacob Dillman have been two of the students getting a ‘head start’ in this.

Borland said he had taken a class on addiction at ONU.

He said the class noted (as does an NCPA brochure) that addiction will change the structure of the brain and how it works. What’s more, the American Medical Association classifies addiction as a “chronic disease.”

Both students said some of the genesis of opioid addiction can come initially from, at times, over prescribing the drug at the outset.

As the person becomes hooked, they will then often “go to the streets” to get more, and more, setting up a spiral of addiction.

Dillman said one key might be for physicians to limit quantities of opioids at the start of treatment. Another strategy would be for some people, in some cases, to initially look to over-the-counter medications (like, for instance, Ibuprofen) for pain management first, both continued. The students added that they call their prevention program: Project NADA (Northern Against Drug Addiction).

Also besides in-patient rehab programs, and such, for drug addicts, there is also the 12-Step Program Narcotics Anonymous.

Ms. Myers added that the local NCPA program is currently being updated and expanded a bit. And the newer version should be rolled out with ONU’s Mobile Clinic this spring.

Note: In his Mayor’s Annual Report last week, Dave Retterer said one of the biggest 2019 challenges facing Ada going forward is “…drug traffic into and within the village.” He said that while, indeed, this is a “global problem,” it can also be addressed locally with good law enforcement, courts, and other organizations. One of those other ‘organizations’ is right in Ada’s backyard and deals with, perhaps, the biggest of all drug problems in the country currently.