COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The African American Male Wellness Agency, based in Columbus, announced a partnership with Franklin County Public Health on a new initiative to fight against opioid addiction.
AAWellness announced the program, called “It’s Our Problem, Too,” at a press conference Thursday at the Franklin County Public Health Building.
AAWellness Executive Director Marlon Platt said the goal is to close the health disparity gap for African Americans in the community because “opioid addiction doesn’t discriminate.”
“It was important for us to join the fight because our goal is to ensure our African American community is holistic, healthy, and has the proper resources to maintain a successful lifestyle,” Platt, said.
In 2020, the group says there was a 44% increase in overdoses amongst African Americans. They say opioids are also responsible for 90% of all overdose deaths in Franklin County.
To help combat the crisis, AAWellness announced that it will distribute Narcan Resource Kits, provide Narcan training for community leaders, and actively work to get Narcan into central Ohio’s Black churches. The effort is part of the “It’s Our Problem, Too Tour,” which will visit as many community spots as possible, including beauty salons, barbershops, and schools.
“We can truly make change,” Platt said, adding that mail order Narcan kits and training are available by request by completing a survey on the Franklin County Public Health web site.
The “It’s Our Problem, Too” initiative is hosting online Narcan training at 1 p.m. on April 22 via the Franklin County Public Health website.
Additional information and resources can be found at Recover For Life.