The number of accidental overdose deaths in Montgomery County has been trending downward in recent months.
Mental health and addiction advocates from the county’s collaborative Community Overdose Action Team say intensive efforts to address the opioid epidemic are beginning to have an impact.
On Thursday in Dayton, advocates presented excerpts from the county’s new Voices Project partnership, part of a national video project to share the stories of people touched by the epidemic.
Producer Lauren White says speaking openly about the crisis can help people and families struggling with addiction.
“While their actions during addiction can be hard," she says, "isolation is the contributing factor of their addiction. So, if we can understand that addiction is a disease and that people don’t choose that path, and treating people with a little bit more respect and dignity.”
Officials say work by the Community Overdose Action Team is helping to combat stigma around addiction and bring overdose rates down. But, the overdose death rate remains historically high, with at least 559 deaths countywide this year as of November, according to numbers from the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
Watch a video from the project here.