5. Bold solutions are called for: Safe injection sites – introduced in a couple of cities around the country - are designated places where addicts can go to get clean needles, and use drugs they know to be safe from fentanyl or other additives. Paula Detrick of Troy, whose son is in an ongoing battle with addiction said more of these harm reduction programs are needed to keep people alive until they can eventually get help: "There are people coming out of these treatment centers that are dead within hours of leaving," she said. "It's a whole new ballgame whenever we're dealing with fentanyl and carfentanil."
6. Better coordination of services is needed: Several counties maintain comprehensive resource guides on their websites, but many participants said people don't know where to look or how to get help. Some advocated for a more streamlined system for intake and referrals, or a one-stop shop for the region.
7. Medical professionals need to be part of the strategy for tackling the opioid epidemic: Some physicians feel they've been made a scapegoat for the opioid crisis. Dr. Craig Cleveland, an internal medicine doctor who is now the program physician at Sunrise Treatment Center in Cincinnati, said doctors need to change the way they treat underlying issues like mental health and pain, but legislating restrictions on prescribing opioids is potentially dangerous, and could cause harm those with real pain management needs. Cleveland: "The top down mandates are coming from people who don't really realize what's important.They're not talking to the people who are in the trenches treating patients."