"My son walked into the kitchen and was crying trying to get me to stop. He said mommy, don't. By then I grabbed a set of butcher knives on the counter."
It wasn't the first time she tried to kill herself. But Dinovo wasn't always hooked on drugs or heroin.
She grew up in Bellefontaine. Her mother, Robin Burton said she was your typical teenager.
"Just an all American girl, " she said.
But when Dinovo moved away on her own, she found herself mixed up in a lifestyle of partying and pills.
"I tried pretty much everything, " she said.
"I used heroin. I snorted it, I smoked it and finally, I shot it up."
She hid her addiction for 10 years, always thinking she had it under control, but her mother knew. When Dinovo moved back to Ohio, mom was there by her side to fight back against the addiction.
"Addiction attacks everything, every single part of who they are," said Burton.
There were detoxes and relapses, but Burton would not give up on her daughter.
" I never forgot the person inside, who I knew she was, " said Burton.
Now, four years clean, their relationship is stronger than ever. They are sharing their story to let people know there is life after addiction.
"It's amazing how things can change and you can get better. you can. I'm living proof," said Dinovo with a smile.
by Ruben Mees, Bellefontaine Examiner
Despite a record high 5 overdose deaths to start 2017, the year actually saw a decline in the total number of deaths — a positive sign that proactive measures being developed by the local opiate task force are working.
“What we do know is that we are seeing a drop from 2016 to 2017,” Tammy Nicholl, co-chair of the Coalition for Opiate Relief Efforts said at the group’s quarterly meeting Wednesday.
Locally, there were 8 overdose deaths in Logan County in 2017, although 4 additional Logan County residents were pronounced dead of drug overdoses outside Logan County, Nicholl said. Of those 12, 5 deaths were in January 2017.
2017 OVERDOSE DEATHS
2017 started out with an exceptionally high number of overdose deaths of Logan County residents, but there was only one death recorded in the past six months.
The total is down from 13 deaths in 2016, but that year’s total did not include out-of-county deaths, she told the coalition members.
Over the course of the year, local first responders administered 135 doses of the overdose reversal medication naloxone — a piece of data that was not adequately captured prior to 2017. Of the 135 total doses, some were administered as multiple doses on the same run, CORE co-chairman and pharmacist Steve Marshall noted.
“Narcan (a trade name for naloxone) only works a short period of time; so a lot of times when dealing with a lot stronger medications, it takes more to keep them breathing,” he explained.
Nearly all overdose cases involve the synthetic opioid fentanyl, Sheriff Randy Dodds noted, adding he was pleased to see the spike in deaths to start 2017 did not carry through to later months in the year.
“The way it started off, I thought we were in for it, but it tailed off,” the sheriff said. “We did learn we have to be a lot more careful how we handle drugs now. We mask up and wear gloves because the stuff out there now is so dangerous.”
In September, CORE will mark its official fourth birthday and the group discussed a possible dinner as it had in both September 2014 and 2016. Bellefontaine Police Chief Brandon Standley said he has been in contact with Sam Quiñones, the author of the acclaimed book Dreamland, to try to get him to speak at the event.
Steven White, regional director for Sen. Rob Portman’s office, attended and discussed federal funds available through the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act and the state-administered grants through the Cures Act.
“We want to make sure Logan County can get access to some of that money for some of its key projects,” White said. “One of the big things we have to do as a community is to figure out what grants we are going to go after and put our best foot forward.”
Four areas have already been identified, Logan County Family Court administrator and grant writer Annette Deao said. Among them are a health educator for the community, creating detox beds or an inpatient rehabilitation center, creating new peer support opportunities and increased funding for the Logan County Joint Drug Task Force.
Other CORE team members highlighted the following successes from 2017:
• An overdose response team was formed between law enforcement, social services and sober support peers to reach out to individuals who overdose and the group has made numerous contacts over the course of the year.
• Several new sober events and activities, including a recent New Year’s Eve party, four new weekly sober support meetings and Celebrate Recovery launched last year.
• Local physicians have increased their ability to prescribe medication-assisted treatment drugs, including both Suboxone and Vivitrol.
• Local doctors, including the Mary Rutan Emergency Department physicians, have continued to move along discussions about prescribing opiates for pain relief, while nearly all pharmacists are continuing to use the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System to track opioid prescriptions.
• Medication take-back programs, including stationary drop boxes at the Logan County Sheriff’s Office and Russells Point Police Department, have netted more than a ton — 2,000 pounds — of unwanted medications since the program’s inception in 2010.
• A conversation has begun about the need for local detox beds and providing a better bridge to therapy for individuals who are beginning withdrawal from opiates and other addictive drugs.
• Educational efforts continue in the schools to steer youths away from drug and alcohol use.
• The Logan County Family Court has become the central drug testing service for Logan County programs and administered 5,812 drug screens in 2017 with 12 percent positive results compared to 17 percent the year prior.
A news crew from WSYX-TV in Columbus was also present at the meeting and the station is planning to air a segment on Logan County’s recovery efforts on Thursday, Jan. 18.
The next full meeting of the CORE coalition is set for 5 p.m. Thursday, April 11, while CORE team leaders meet at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15. Both meetings are at Union Station, 613 Hamilton St.
A local task force will be starting a new program with a grant it received recently.
The Logan County Opiate Task Force received a Health Living Grant from the AMA Foundation to fund the launch of the PERK (Positive Engagement Reaches Kids) Program for Logan County families.
The program will begin on Saturday with a half-day kick-off that will feature a fun and educational day to address the impact of medicine abuse on real families, to stimulate an informal discussion, and educate adolescents about substance abuse through an engaging presentation meant to challenge their behavior towards drugs and alcohol. The kick-off will take place at Union Station from 12-4pm.
Logan County Youth between 10 and 15 years of age, who are at risk for substance abuse, will be referred to the PERK Program. It is the goal of the group to include between 35 and 50 youth in this half-day event and then follow-up with ongoing after school opportunities.
The PERK Program also includes a component for parents to increase their understanding and confidence in preventing and addressing drug and alcohol issues. The multi-media training program called “Parents: You Matter,” was created by the Partnership at Drugfree.org and it is designed to be co-delivered by a range of community presenters, from law enforcement, prevention and treatment professionals, as well as educators and healthcare professionals. It aims to educate parents of teens and tweens about why kids use drugs and alcohol; what parents can do to protect their children, and tips on how to communicate with their kids, monitor activities, how to spot drug/alcohol use, and what a parent should do when they find it.
The Logan County Opiate Task Force was formed following the 2012 Community Health Risk and Needs Assessment, where drug abuse was identified as an area of risk and concern in Logan County. Members include: Mary Rutan Foundation, Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Services Board of Logan and Champaign Counties, Consolidated Care Inc., Universal Home Health & Hospice Care, Kroger Pharmacy, Logan County Drug Free Youth Coalition, Logan County Family & Children First Council, Logan County Treatment Court, Joint Drug Task Force, Logan County Prosecutor’s Office, RTC Employment Services and other community partners.
The local data collected by the Opiate Task Force and its partners supports the need for such a program:
“We are excited to have been awarded the Healthy Living Grant,” said Tammy Nicholl, Opiate Task Force Co-chair. “This grant allows us to continue to bring awareness and an educational opportunity to Logan County youth and their families.”
News & Local Updates
Articles and stories that reflect and highlight the work of the Logan County Joint Drug Task Force and other local organizations.