Published: Friday, 25 September 2015 07:56
COLUMBUS - Realtor Dave Culbertson of Mount Vernon was honored with the Ohio Association of REALTORS 2015 Excellence in Community Service Award.
The presentation of the award was made at the Association’s Opening Session, a highlight of OAR’s 105th Annual Convention, Sept. 20-22, in Columbus. Culbertson, who was nominated by the Columbus REALTORS, is associated with Real Living Home Team.
The Excellence in Community Service Award is presented to an individual REALTOR who has shown exemplary commitment to community service.
Culbertson was honored for his efforts in establishing the Arms of an Angel Foundation, a non-profit drug awareness outreach program created in loving memory of his son, Carl, who died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2009.
The purpose of Arms of an Angel is to reach out to students, young adults and parents to spread education and awareness of the heroin and opiate epidemic and other drug issues that have become a growing problem across Ohio and the nation. Arms of an Angel has become the lifelong ministry for the Culbertson family where, in the last six years, Dave has spoken to more than 15,000 young people on feeling good about themselves and the inner strength needed to help fight negative peer pressures related to drugs, as well as everyday life struggles.
OAR Communications Committee Chair Anjanette Frye presents the organization’s prestigious Excellence in Community Service Award to Dave Culbertson, of Columbus REALTORS, for his remarkable work in establishing the Arms of an Angel Foundation. The Foundation, a drug awareness/prevention outreach program, was created in loving memory of his son, Carl, who died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2009. - photo submitted
With the stakes being so high and young people bombarded from all angles with negative and mixed messages, Dave’s message is designed to not only reach their minds, but tug at their hearts.
Culbertson has also taken this message to many adult groups, including Rotary, Kiwanis and Exchange clubs in Central Ohio.
Arms of an Angel has developed and operated several Old Prescription Roundups and has been recognized for its efforts and passion. This Foundation also supports and works with a neighboring county’s program “Together We Hurt, Together We Heal,” and operates a Clean and Sober Fall Colors Poker Run fundraiser for Ohio motorcyclists every autumn.
In addition, Culbertson and the Arms of an Angel Foundation have been featured in an Ohio Department of Health video about Naloxone – a nasal spray that helps revive victims suffering from heroin or prescription drug overdose.
Arms of an Angel anticipates reaching out to more than 10,000 young people each year and plans to expand its services to provide transition housing and vocational and life-skills training to help recovering addicts stay away from their dealers and “triggers,” and help them transition back into society in a productive way.
“It’s not natural for parents to bury their children,” Culbertson said. “If we can help prevent other families from going through what we went through, and are still going through, then we will help bring purpose to Carl’s short life.”
Culbertson currently serves on numerous anti-drug task forces, including the Governor’s Opiate Task Force; the Attorney General’s Drug Advisory Committee, Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force, and the Knox County Substance Abuse Advisory Council.
Culbertson is available to speak to middle schools, high schools and church youth groups throughout the state. There is no charge for this service.
For more information on Arms of an Angel Foundation visit www.ArmsOfAnAngel.org.
Published: Thursday, 24 September 2015 17:59
COLUMBUS – Based on law enforcement drug seizures, Ohio has seen a major increase in drug reports involving fentanyl, a more lethal opiate that is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. With 502 fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths in Ohio in 2014, fentanyl was a significant contributor to a rise in drug overdose deaths, according to preliminary data released by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). By comparison, in 2013 just 84 deaths involved fentanyl. Overall, drug overdose deaths in Ohio increased from 2,110 in 2013 to 2,482 in 2014.
“At the same time we are experiencing positive progress in our fight against drug addiction, such as fewer opiates being dispensed and a decrease in high-doses of opiates, we are also seeing some individuals begin to use more dangerous drugs to achieve more intense effects,” said Mark Hurst, M.D.,medical director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS). “As they build up tolerance to drugs they’re using, they may progress, for example, from prescription pain pills, to heroin, to fentanyl which is often cut into heroin.”
In response, the state is expanding the fight against opiate abuse to counter fentanyl and other opiate misuse. Building on efforts that started in 2011, state agencies are partnering to improve interdiction, raise awareness, expand treatment options and reduce the number of inappropriately prescribed pills. Additionally, Ohio is working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to fully analyze Ohio’s fentanyl-related drug overdose data so that local and state officials, law enforcement and doctors better understand the nature of the fentanyl problem in Ohio and how to address it.
Since Ohio started to aggressively fight back against opiate abuse, the state has begun seeing some
*The number of opiate prescriptions dispensed to Ohio patients in 2014 decreased by more than
40 million doses compared to 2013. Fewer doses lessen the opportunity for opiates to be
redistributed or abused.
*The number of individuals “doctor shopping” for controlled substances including opiates as
identified through the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) decreased from more
than 3,100 in 2009 to approximately 960 in 2014.
*Patients receiving prescription opiates for the treatment of pain at doses greater than an 80 mg
morphine equivalent dose decreased by 10.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013 when
Ohio’s opiate prescribing guidelines were announced, to the second quarter of 2015.
*The percentage of opiate prescribers registered to use OARRS increased by 30.3 percent from
the fourth quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2015. This upward trend will continue
because prescribers are now required to show that they are registered in OARRS for re-licensing.
*Ohio patients receiving prescriptions for opiates and benzodiazepine sedatives at the same time
dropped 8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2015. Multiple drug
use was the single largest contributor to unintentional drug overdoses in 2014.
“We are committed to aggressively fighting opiate abuse in Ohio, including the rise of fentanyl,” said
Andrea Boxill, OhioMHAS deputy director and coordinator of the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action
Team (GCOAT). “We’re building on the many good things we are already doing by pursuing new
initiatives to strengthen drug abuse prevention, expand efforts to control access to opiates; and
continue to enhance access to treatment, but much more needs to be done to address this new crisis
Included in these new initiatives is an additional investment of $500,000 per year to purchase the lifesaving overdose antidote naloxone. Also, Ohio officials released in July the Health Resource Toolkit for Addressing Opioid Abuse to help communities fight back. Additional new strategies and tactics can be found here. ODH’s release of 2014 preliminary drug overdose death data is seven months faster than past years and ahead of most states. By getting this data out more quickly it enables the state, local governments and Ohio communities to have a better understanding of the challenges they face and the tactics necessary to take on the struggle against drug abuse.