Whitehall's Help for Overdoses
The epidemic is real. Ohioans continue to die from drug overdoses at a record-setting pace. Death from drug overdoses is now the leading cause of death in people ages 22-50. Ohio continues to be one of the nation’s leaders in the death-toll rate. Locally, Franklin County has realized a 343% increase in deaths between 2003-2016. Whitehall, per capita, has been one of the hardest hit cities in the county with overdose rates five times higher than the Franklin County average.
Whitehall's Help For Overdoses (WHO)
Who We Are
Whitehall’s Help for Overdoses (WHO) is a team comprised of pre-hospital medical providers, recovery and treatment specialists and members of the local judicial and law enforcement systems. We are dedicated to serving individuals and/or families struggling with addiction in the City of Whitehall.
The WHO seeks to reduce opioid misuse, addiction and fatalities within the City of Whitehall. Our team of professionals can help with the treatment, recovery and prevention of opioid usage.
What We Can Do
Our team is committed to implementing harm-reduction, education and treatment programs that are designed to help those afflicted with addiction.
We have a wide variety of resources. Our medical care providers can answer your questions or concerns related to the medical care that is necessary to overcome addiction or counteract an overdose. Our law enforcement is available to help with legal concerns that surround illicit drug activity. Our recovery and treatment providers can provide information on the care that would be best suited for your individual case and subsequently link you to the care you need. And finally, our diversionary court process can serve as an alternative to incarceration due to legal ramifications stemming from drug usage.
The Fire Division’s SAFE Station, serving those needing a safe, discreet pathway to drug addiction services, is still open. If you are able, please call ahead (614-572-6918) before coming to the Fire Station for screening purposes (although this is not required).
Stop Addiction for Everyone (SAFE) Station
The Whitehall Division of Fire has implemented a SAFE (Stop Addiction For Everyone) Station Program as a component of project Whitehall’s Help for Overdoses (WHO). The SAFE Station Program is a joint effort between the Whitehall Division of Fire, the Whitehall Division of Police, the Heart of Ohio Family Health Center and the Maryhaven Addiction Stabilization Center (MASC).
This program is intended to address the immediate needs of those members of our community who are in crisis relative to an opioid addiction. The program will provide a safe and discreet avenue for those afflicted with addiction to gain access to treatment and recovery.
The SAFE Station Program can be accessed with minimal effort. Members of the public will simply arrive at the fire station and ask to be helped in their fight against addiction. The Community Paramedic or another member of the Fire Division will coordinate a warm handoff between Division personnel and a recovery or treatment specialist from the MASC, or similar agency. Law enforcement personnel will be involved ONLY if the member of the community is discovered to be armed with a weapon or display aggressive demeanor. In these cases, law enforcement is involved to ensure the safety of the fire division personnel.
You may, at any time, come to the fire station and ask for help with addiction. We encourage you to bring your drugs, tools and other paraphernalia associated with its use and you will be provided assistance without the liability of being placed into law enforcement custody. No legal action will be taken against you.