Findlay and Toledo mayors ask governor for help in opioid crisis

Findlay and Toledo mayors ask governor for help in opioid crisis
(Source: AP)

FINDLAY, OH (WTOL) - Nearly two dozen Ohio mayors, including both democrats and republicans, sent a letter to the governor demanding action on the opioid crisis.

Findlay mayor Lydia Mihalik and Toledo mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson are both on the Ohio Mayor's Alliance that sent the letter, which calls the crisis an  "unfolding catastrophe, unparalleled in our state's recent history."

The mayors asked the Governor to immediately activate the state's Emergency Operations Center in Columbus to deal with the crisis.

It would create a command structure with representatives from different levels of government. And a point person, or czar, would be in charge of the response.

"What we have been doing over the last couple of years, it may have been making some impact on what we're doing but our numbers aren't getting better, they're getting worse," Mayor Mihalik said.

This year, Mihalik said the Findlay area already exceeded the number of total overdoses and overdose deaths from all of last year. If the state opens the Emergency Operations Center and coordinating resources, she hopes critical information will be shared.

"We have so many different communities doing so many different things and not everybody knows what one another is doing," Mayor Mihalik said. "Something as simple as making sure that if there's a shortage, a short time shortage of Narcan, do we have stockpiles in other communities that we could perhaps share with a community in need?"

Governor Kasich's spokesperson, Jon Keeling, says they will give serious consideration to the Mayors Alliance recommendations.

"In our war against drug abuse and addiction, our partnerships must be absolute," Keeling said. "And that's why we welcome all ideas that can provide those on our frontlines with new tools and resources to help."

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