He will be "sharing the narrative of our journey over the last few years and sharing some tools." One of those tools is FindLocalTreatment.com, which was initially funded by the Mercy Health Foundation as "a real-time capacity treatment locator," Kang said.
“Anyone can use it to access immediate treatment on demand when someone is ready to get into treatment,” he said.
There have been nearly 1,200 overdose deaths in Butler County since 2012, with more than 70 percent involving opioids.
Martin Schneider, spokesperson for the Butler County Coroner’s Office, said the trend of more methamphetamines in cases so far in 2019 “is disturbing.” There have been 10 deaths related to known methamphetamine cases, and nine of those cases also involved a combination of methamphetamine and at least one type of opioid, he said.
Kang, who will speak for about 20 minutes, will talk broadly about prevention, treatment and harm reduction.
“The prevention work has been quite robust in its own regard just because the more people you prevent from entering the (addiction) space, the better off it is for all of them, and their family members,” he said.
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Mercy Health is also working with the Ohio High School Athletic Association on prevention, calling it “a tremendous opportunity to reach hundreds of thousands of kids.
But a significant effort health systems are working toward is changing the language used, Kang said.
“One of the things we’ve simply tried to change is around language, and try to have the understanding that ‘addict’ is not a good word,” he said.
Instead, medical professionals are beginning to describe people with a substance-use disorder, alcohol-use disorder or opioid-use disorder because Kang said it’s not a moral failing but rather “it’s a chronic health care issue that warrants a health care response.”
“We look at periods of remission and relapse like we do with any other chronic disease,” he said.