YXU Annual Pledge: 1,108 of 5,000 meals
Total Community Investments: $6,209

Cause of the Quarter Overview: Maryhaven

Posted on 05 July 2017

Every Quarter YXU features a Cause of the Quarter to help raise awareness for the challenges facing our communities and fulfill our mission to build leaders and strengthen communities. At the end of the Quarter we donate 10% of our profits to our Cause of the Quarter. Throughout the Quarter we focus on highlights three aspects of our featured Cause:

  1. What challenge facing our communities does this organization help address?
  2. How does this organization help provide a solution for this challenge?
  3. How effective is this organization in their efforts to solve the challenges facing our communities?

For the period of June–August 2017 the YXU Cause of the Quarter is Columbus, Ohio based non-profit Maryhaven. Maryhaven helps men, women, and children to restore their lives when those lives have been interrupted by addictive or mental illness. At Maryhaven the philosophy is to incorporate a holistic approach to personal health and wellness that focuses on each patient’s individual physical and mental health needs to live a healthy and productive life. Visit www.maryhaven.com to learn more.

What challenge facing our community does Maryhaven help address?       

“Maryhaven helps men, women, and children to restore their lives when those lives have been interrupted by addictive or mental illness.”

The above quote is Maryhaven’s mission listed on their website. Maryhaven professional staff work with patients to get their life back on track by controlling substance abuse and mental health issues in an integrity driven, team-oriented fashion. Their work is particularly relevant in Ohio where we’ve been hearing lately about the ever present opioid and addiction epidemic. Despite the charged rhetoric and continuous coverage of incidents related to overdoses, the challenge Maryhaven works to address is still abstract to the community. So, what is the drug epidemic facing Ohio and how big is it?

According to a report produced by the Ohio Department of Health, 3,050 Ohio residents died from unintentional drug overdoses which was a 21% increase from the 2014 figure. Many of these deaths were caused by the continued use of fentanyl which has seen an unprecedented rise in use over the past three years. According to the Center for Disease Control, fentanyl is a Schedule II synthetic opioid pain reliever that is “50 to 200 times more potent than morphine”. Barely edging out the proportion of overdose deaths caused by fentanyl are those caused by heroin which made up almost half of the unintentional overdose deaths in 2015; a nearly stagnant number since 2013.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration ran a four-year study on behavioral health finding that over 170,000 Ohioans abused illicit substances to some degree annually. However, a big question for community members, policy makers, and loved ones is the following: Where are the drugs coming from? While good folks like the ones at Maryhaven are doing good work treating the symptoms of the epidemic, they too remain vigilant to understand how illegal substances end up in the hands of Ohio residents. The data on the Number of Opioid Doses Dispensed to Ohio Patients from 2011 to 2015 (see above) suggest that there is less of a likelihood that overdose deaths are a result of prescriptions used inappropriately. This points to the community seeing a larger presence of illegally produced and/or trafficked opioids.

In 2015, more than 36,200 people received treatment for substance abuse disorders in Ohio and that number is growing. Maryhaven is doing their part to address this problem, but the challenge will not be overcome overnight. The data show that the rhetoric and media attention is not only validated, but often underwhelming in really grasping the problem that exists in the community. 

YXU is proud to partner with Maryhaven this quarter to help rebuild the lives of the patients and families who have been touched by substance abuse and mental health issues. It is through community action that change can be promulgated and we hope that we can support their work to the best of our ability.

-Jay Seetharaman

 

 

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