Dr. John Gabis reviewed the “Hope Partnership Project” for the Ross County Commissioners Monday.
The former county coroner, and current Hope Partnership board chairman, gave an informal annual review to ask for increased funding for the effort with the vision “to end overdose in our community so that not one more life is lost.”
Gabis asked for more funds from the commissioners because the Hope Partnership has been responsible with funding for three goals: workforce development, community forums, and making sure treatment providers are doing a good job.
One recent project by the Hope Partnership are “Harm Reduction Vending Machines” that dispense Naloxone, fentanyl test strips, skin care kits, pregnancy tests, sharps containers…but not syringes. Gabis says the Chillicothe-Ross County Public Library system is hosting several of the machines, with more to be added.
He says giving such supplies does not enable drug abuse, but is an attempt to reduce harm while navigating people to assistance. The machines give free supplies, but customers must register (anonymously if they want) and give basic statistical information.
At the end of my interview with Gabis, I asked him about seeing the worst result of results of drug abuse as the county coroner. He said “the grief was overwhelming when you add it up” – but now he can make an impact on the death rate…other than autopsies.
Find more in the article on the Scioto Post, including a video interview.