CPR discusses vaccines, drug overdose rates


By Sharla Moody - Special to OVP



GALLIA COUNTY — While the end of the COVID-19 pandemic may be in sight with the distribution of vaccines, it’s still ongoing. Gallia Citizens for Prevention and Recovery (CPR) met on Monday to discuss the pandemic, drugs, human trafficking and suicide prevention and awareness efforts, and addiction.

Some programs CPR is currently working on include a vaping intervention program and in-services to provide evidence-based training against vaping.

CPR’s Suicide Prevention Committee has also decided to change its name to Gallia CPR Suicide Awareness Committee, because the committee focuses on more than just prevention. The Suicide Awareness Committee participated in a mass mailing campaign for prevention, and sponsored two billboards in Gallia County until Jan. 5.

CPR also announced funding through the Gallia-Jackson-Meigs Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board for its Silver Lining Project is still available. The Silver Lining Project provides up to $500 for projects that aim to uplift the community.

CPR’s Human Trafficking Coalition also met on Monday, and a guest speaker who is a survivor of human trafficking shared her story. CPR’S Human Trafficking Coalition is now active in Gallia, Jackson, Meigs, Lawrence, and Vinton Counties. January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Monday was Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The Human Trafficking Coalition now has a Facebook page.

“I am very thankful for people who are willing to face [human trafficking] and do something about it,” Thom Mollohan, who led the CPR meeting, said.

Also discussed at the meeting were the distribution of coats for those in need by Ohio State University senior Madison Connelly, and continued drug and tobacco prevention efforts.

The Gallia County Health Department also noted at the meeting that vaccines for COVID-19 are “creeping out.” Beginning the week of Jan. 19, vaccines will become available to those who are 80 and older by appointment only. Beginning the week of Jan. 25, they will become available to those who are 75 and older, age 70-plus beginning the week of Feb. 1, and beginning the week of Feb. 8, to those who are 65 and older — all vaccinations will be available by appointment only, regardless of the age group. Those interested in receiving the vaccine should call the Gallia County Health Department to schedule an appointment at 740-441-2018, 740-441-2950, or 740-441-2951.

CPR’s mission was also updated to reflect all the efforts CPR takes part in.

The meeting closed with a presentation by Dr. Joe Gay on overdose deaths in Gallia County, Ohio and across the nation. According to his presentation, fentanyl and carfentanyl are now involved in most overdose deaths in Ohio, and more Naloxone is required to reverse a fentanyl overdose than is needed for other opioid overdoses. In 2016 and 2017, Ohio had the second highest overdose rate in the U.S., and was the fifth highest state for overdose deaths in 2018. In 2019, Gallia County was eighth in the state of Ohio by overdose death rate.

“Naloxone is very important in lowering overdose death rates,” Dr. Gay said, and commended the Gallia County Health Department for its efforts in distributing Naloxone.

Gallia CPR meets the second Monday of every month.

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By Sharla Moody

Special to OVP

Sharla Moody is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing from Gallipolis, Ohio. She is a graduate of River Valley High School and currently attends Yale University.

Sharla Moody is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing from Gallipolis, Ohio. She is a graduate of River Valley High School and currently attends Yale University.