A Cleveland Clinic panel discussion on the opioid crisis is coming to Willoughby Hills.

“Heroin, Fentanyl and Carfentanil: The Triple Threat at Our Doorstep” will be held June 28 in St. Noel’s Banquet Center, 35200 Chardon Road.

“Triple Threat” is a series of panel discussions that “bring residents, community partners and local experts together to engage in open conversation about the opioid epidemic” according to the Cleveland Clinic. The Clinic said the events “empower community members by connecting them to the resources and information they need to combat the opioid crisis.”

Panelists for the Willoughby Hills event are:

  • Irene Druzina, MD, Internal Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Willoughby Hills Family Health Center
  • Sgt. Chris Begley, Pharmaceutical Diversion Unit, Unit Supervisor, Lake County Narcotics Agency
  • Kimberly Fraser, executive director, Lake County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board

From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. there will be a registration and resource table. From 6:30 to 8 p.m. the panel discussion starts, which includes a question-and-answer session. The event is free, but registration is required. Those interested can register online at www.ccf.org/triplethreatwilloughbyhills. Those seeking more information are asked to call Ann Coughlin at 216-692-8969.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, more than 4,000 people died in Ohio of drug overdoses in 2016, a 36 percent increase over 2015. Ohio in 2014 and 2015 had more drug overdose deaths than any other state (2016 state-by-state statistics are not yet available).

In Lake County there were 85 drug overdose deaths last year, shattering the record previously set in 2014 of 46.  Fentanyl, the synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin, is now the leading cause of drug overdose death in the county. The drug contributed to 62 of the deaths last year. Carfentanil is a large animal sedative 100 times more powerful than fentanyl. It began popping up in Ohio last year, including in Lake County.

Published by the News-Herald