UNO plans drug summit

Staff report

LIMA — The University of Northwestern Ohio’s Counseling Center, in partnership with Rhodes State College and Bluffton University’s Counseling Centers, the Partnership for Violence Free Families, and the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board will host an all-day educational summit called I-HOPE (Intercollegiate Heroin and Opiate Prevention and Education).

Students from all three college campuses, high school students enrolled in college credit programs and local community agencies and members are all invited to attend any and all parts of the free seminar, Tuesday, Sept. 26, at the UNOH Event Center from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

According to reports from the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio currently has the highest overdose rate in the country. At least 4,149 Ohioans died from unintentional drug overdoses in 2016. That’s a 36 percent increase over 2015 unintentional overdoses. 86 percent of Ohio’s drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved an opioid. On average, 11 people died each day in 2016 from heroin, fentanyl, or other drugs.

The I-HOPE summit will shine a light on the heroin and opiate epidemic and features a keynote address by former Olympian, pro BMX Competitor, and recovering addict Tony Hoffman. Following his keynote address, participants are invited to attend one of the many breakout sessions focusing on topics such as Narcan, the role of faith in recovery, suicide prevention, bystander training, and the big picture, about Ohio’s opiate epidemic.

This summit will provide students and community members with a chance to learn more about the heroin and opiate epidemic in Ohio, and learn what they can do to help themselves, their loved ones, or others who are struggling with addiction. All attendees will receive a certificate for hours attended and complimentary lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Local resource connections and vendors will be in attendance as well offering giveaways to participants including gift cards for anything from Amazon to Starbucks and Panera Bread.

All those who are interested in attending the summit are asked to register online at

Staff report