Appalachian Ohio sits above the state average for prescribed painkillers.
Muskingum County Behavioral Health’s Steve Carrel said the higher than normal numbers could partly be due to pill mills.
"Part of the problem for Appalachian Ohio was the pain mills of Southern Ohio," said Carrel. "Many of whom are out of business. I saw a chart that shows the largest drop in prescribed opiates is actually in Southern Ohio where those clinics were."
Those addicted to prescription medications cause problems for law enforcement, healthcare facilities and emergency rooms. That’s why Carrel is looking for people to be apart of a drug task force.
"We need a community to step up and say enough is enough," said Carrel. "I’m looking at things like a public awareness campaign, support groups for someone who has lost loved once because of drugs. I’m looking for a voice to say this is not going to happen in Muskingum County."
While the task force is still in the planning phase, 15 people have already made a commitment to help. Member of Muskingum Behavioral Health will attend the statewide opiate summit next week to learn more about creating an affective task force.
If you’re interested in being a part of the task force contact Muskingum Behavioral Health.