Cuyahoga County Title

Heroin Addiction & Help


Heroin/Opioid Epidemic:

Cuyahoga County is truly experiencing the devastating effects of a heroin epidemic. The ADAMHS Board has remained a leader during this evolving public health crisis. Details on the steps taken by the ADAMHS Board are outlined in this document: ADAMHS A Leader in Combatting the Opioid Crisis.

Heroin deaths continue to rise and with fentanyl now in our community with a vengeance, deaths by overdose are staggering. Deaths by heroin overdose have increased from 161 in 2012, to more than 700 in 2017. These individuals fatally overdosed from use of opiate, heroin/fentanyl/carfentanil, and these drugs mixed with other street drugs, such as cocaine. This epidemic is here in Cuyahoga County and it is devastating families.

Heroin use is increasing because:
  • Demand among younger users, 
  • Pill progression from prescription opiates, 
  • And pressure from dealers to switch from crack and prescription drugs to more-profitable heroin.

How Heroin Affects the Body

(photo credit: WKYC News Channel 3)

Farid Sabet, M.D., Chief Clinical Officer of the ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County, spoke to WKYC Channel 3 News about the how heroin affects the body.

It's a brain disease
, Dr. Sabet said, that can lead to physical changes like depression, personality changes, G.I. problems, and general infections. When the drug is ingested into the body, it lights up a feeling of euphoria in our brain, and works to mimic many of the body's systems. After a user's first time getting high, it takes a higher and higher dose to recreate the feeling.

Click here for the story.

Who is Using Heroin?

The image of a heroin addict lying in a filthy, dark alley is obsolete. Today, the addict could be 12-17 years old, play video games, appear smart, trendy and show none of the common traces of heroin use, such as needle marks on his or her arm. The addict could also be a middle-aged man with a job and family who can function next to normal and keep his use hidden, or even a young woman between the ages of 18 and 25.

These images have changed because heroin is available in various forms that are easier to consume, more affordable and easier to obtain. A person who might think twice about putting a needle in his or her arm may more readily smoke or sniff the same drug. But this is falsely reassuring and may give one the idea that there is less risk. The truth is that heroin in all its forms is dangerous and addictive.

Recovery is Possible

Thousands of Cuyahoga County Residents are living in recovery
from addictions, including opioid addiction. The ADAMHS Board supports a continuum of care that includes, prevention, harm reduction, detoxification, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), non-medicated treatment, counseling, sober housing, and peer support. Never give up hope. Treatment works and people do recover.

Current ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County Heroin Prevention Campaign:

The ADAMHS Board launched a Heroin Prevention Campaign that featured over 10,000 - 30 and 15 second radio spots will be heard on WMMS 100.7 FM; WAKS (KISS) 96.5 FM; WGAR 99.5 FM; WHLK106.5 FM; WMJI-105.7 FM; WTAM 1100 AM; 99x 99.1 FM, WNCX 98.5, News Talk 1420 WHK, WFHM 9.5. The Fish, WENZ 107.9 FM, WZAK 93.1 FM, Praise 1300 AM, WCPN 90.3, The Wave 107.3 FM and WQAL 104.1 FM, Pandora Radio, RTA vehicle advertising, outdoor kiosks and social media (Facebook, Twitter).

Click the following links to hear the spots that carry a heroin prevention message that is in response to the devastating effects of prescription drug addiction and the resurgence of heroin addiction.

:30 Second Spot - Version 1 (Clear Channel Stations)
:15 Second Spot - Version 2 (Clear Channel Stations)

:15 & :30 Second Spots (CBS Radio Stations)

The Wavelength 107.3 FM

ADAMHS Board members, staff, advocates and community partners are featured on 107.3 The Wavelength Community Affairs show. Click on the links below to listen to the 30-minute spots.

ADAMHS Board Chief of External Affairs, Scott S. Osiecki, and External Affairs Officer, Katie Boland, talk about the Board's initiatives to treatment individuals living with addiction as well as recovery support services. Click here to listen to part one. Click here to listen to part two.

Aaron Marks, Recovery Advocate, shares his story of addiction and recovery. Click here to listen.

Previous ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County Heroin Prevention Campaign:

Phase One
: The ADAMHS Board launched the first phase of its Heroin Prevention Campaign on December 2, 2014. This first phase ran through the end of the 2015 and featured over 1,700 - 30 and 15 second radio spots will be heard on WMMS 100.7 FM; WAKS (KISS) 96.5 FM; WGAR 99.5 FM; WHLK106.5 FM; WMJI-105.7 FM; WTAM 1100 AM; WNCX 98.5 FM and WQAL 104.1 FM.

Click the following links to hear the spots that carry a heroin prevention message that is in response to the devastating effects of prescription drug addiction and the resurgence of heroin addiction. These spots are still running as public service announcements on many radio stations.

:30 Second Spot - Version 1 (Clear Channel Stations)
:30 Second Spot - Version 2 (Clear Channel Stations)

:15 Second Spot - Version 1 (ClearChannel Stations)
:15 Second Spot - Version 2 (Clear Channel Stations)

:15 & :30 Second Spots (CBS Radio Stations)

Phase One Results: Results from Phase One of the campaign point to the reality of the problem in our community; that the message reached its intended audiences of those addicted, those who care about the person and those seeking information, as well as the need for a continued prevention campaign: 

The hotline number 216-623-6888 received 105 calls in the 35 days that the radio spots ran for an average of 3 calls per day. 
  • 82% of the calls were for information &referral. 
  • 18% needed additional services due to other mental health issues. 
  • 46% of the calls came from the person addicted to heroin. 
  • 54% of the calls were from another person calling on behalf of the person with the addiction. 
  • There was also an increase in all calls to the Hotline during the campaign.

Phase Two: Phase Two of the campaign launched on staggered dates from February 10 through February 24, 2015 and continued through April. During this second phase of the campaign, radio messages from Phase One will be combined with comprehensive outdoor advertising on billboards, RTA busses and neighborhood kiosks, in addition to targeted advertising on Pandora radio, cable television, broadcast television, newspapers and social media. An updated campaign ran from December 2015 through 2016.
Here is a link to our TV spot:

Click here to see the 90 Second WOIO Cleveland Now Segment. 

Click here to read the Plain Dealer's February 19, 2014  Editorial: Heroin's dangers are in full flower in Ohio.


Download the brochure: Heroin: Now What? 

Looking for a speaker about heroin addiction, treatment and recovery? Contact Beth DeJesus, Training Officer at the ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County, at or 216-241-3400 ext. 812.

Recovery Speakers Bureau If you are living in recovery from mental illness and/or addiction and would like to share your story as a Recovery Advocate, please complete this interest form.

Opiate, Heroin & Fentanyl Epidemic: ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County PowerPoint Presentation with awareness/prevention video from WOIO/WUAB TV.

Helpful Links:

Start Your Recovery: Start Your Recovery provides helpful information for people who are dealing with substance use issues — and their family members, friends, and co-workers, too. We know that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges faced by those who misuse alcohol, prescription or illegal drugs, or other substances, and we aim to break through the clutter to help people at any stage of recovery.

Know the Risks:   Know the Risks was launched in April 2017, and is a Cleveland-based, community-wide, year-long opioid awareness campaign created to generate awareness to the risks of opioid prescription abuse and the role it plays in the heroin epidemic in Cuyahoga County and across the nation. This site offers information and where to get help.

Cover2 Resources: This site was founded by a family that lost their son to a heroin overdose. The site provides detailed information and options on alternatives to the opioids that are often prescribed for pain treatment, podcasts and local resources.

Emerald Jenny Foundation: This site was founded by a family who lost their daughter to a heroin overdose. Check out the site for information on treatment providers. This site includes listings for rehab facilities, healthcare providers, counselors and other organizations – all so you or a loved one can take that important first step. 

Cuyahoga County Opiate Collaborative: This site hosted by the Cuyahoga County Opiate Task Force provides facts, information and resources.  

Referral Resourced Guide for the Jewish Community. 
- Freedom Song Addiction Theatre

Help for People with Heroin Addiction & More Information:

If you are looking for a treatment provider for heroin and/or other addictions in Cuyahoga County, or are looking for more information, please call the ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County 24-hour Information & Referral Line at 216-623-6888, or contact one of the following providers directly. 

Click here to watch a video of our Addiction Recovery Advocacy Meeting held on January 23, 2017.  The ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County hosts free meetings to create change in our community to reduce the number of lives lost to opiate/heroin/fentanyl addiction. These meetings are attended by recovery advocates, family members who have lost a loved one to addiction and professionals. We discuss how to change the public attitude about mental illness, addiction and recovery as well as new treatment and recovery programs and/or enhances to help individuals maintain long-term recovery.

Below is a listing of ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County Network Agencies that provide heroin detoxification and treatment services.

  St. Vincent Charity Rosary Hall (216) 363-2580

At Rosary Hall, patients and their families find the road to freedom in a recovery process that’s compassionate, comprehensive, and one of the best in the country. Rosary Hall provides a full spectrum of the most current treatment options, including:

Intake services
- Provides information, intake and referrals for all Rosary Hall services and programs.

Medical evaluations and ongoing assessments - Individuals are evaluated during a face-to-face session to determine the nature and extent of their misuse and/or addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Medical stabilization and acute care detoxification in a hospital setting
- Our 21-bed inpatient detoxification and assessment unit is located at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. The average length of stay is three - five days, with services provided by a multi-disciplinary team of physicians, nurses, counselors, nutritionists, pastoral counselors, social workers, case managers and recovery coaches to help guide patients through their hospital stay.

Intensive outpatient - Intensive outpatient programs can be attended during the day or evening and provide primary rehabilitation services to patients who do not require hospitalization. The program typically includes four group sessions per week for five weeks.

Individual counseling - One-on-one meetings with a counselor or social worker to assist in achieving treatment objectives.

Aftercare - Patients who have completed a primary rehabilitation program typically continue treatment in early recovery in the aftercare program. This is a one-hour-per-week group therapy program lasting a minimum of 12 weeks.

Family program
- Education, support and counseling of families is integral to Rosary Hall’s rehabilitation programs. During primary rehabilitation, the family is encouraged to attend sessions that include education, multi-family group therapy sessions, individual family member counseling and orientation to 12-step recovery for families.

Case-managed transition into community and support networks - We assist patients in moving from treatment at Rosary Hall to self-help recovery programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Case management is also provided to transition individuals to the next level of care and to other support services.

Medication-assisted treatment - Rosary Hall is one of only a few substance abuse treatment facilities in Ohio to offer buprenorphine therapy (trade name Suboxone) for treating opiate addictions. Outcomes in treating opiate addictions have never been better. To assist certain patients in maintaining abstinence from alcohol, we also prescribe Campral.

Located in the heart of downtown Cleve­land, Rosary Hall offers convenient access to care for those living and working in the city, as well as its surrounding suburbs.
Salvation Army Harbor Light
Detoxification Services - (216) 781-2121
IOPT Services - (216) 619-4678

The Salvation Army Harbor Light Complex in Cleveland, Ohio has been in existence for over 50 years and has been a beacon of hope and help, providing services to the most disenfranchised members of society including homeless men, women and children, the alcoholic, the drug addict, and the felon.

Detoxification Services: The Harbor Light Complex administers a medically approved alcohol and other drug (AOD) withdrawal program designed and supervised by Dr. Ted Parren. A board approved physician makes daily visits to the detoxification program and licensed nurses attend to the daily needs of clients experiencing AOD withdrawal.

Intensive Outpatient Program: The Salvation Army Harbor Light Complex Intensive Outpatient Program promotes abstinence. The program provides evidence based relapse prevention strategies for adults who are physically and psychologically dependent on alcohol and/or other drugs. The IOP program conducts therapy in CBT, REBT, strength based perspective and contingency management incentive model.
Recovery Resources (216) 431-4131, ext. 1107

Recovery Resources helps people triumph over mental illness, alcoholism, drug and other addictions. Mental illness and addiction are diseases - they can be treated, and people do recover. These illnesses do not discriminate; they affect anyone - rich or poor, male or female, young or old. We are committed to uncovering recovery by dissolving stigma, an enormous barrier that prevents people from obtaining treatment and living full and productive lives.

Recovery resources is one of the largest behavioral health non-profits in Northeast Ohio. We specialize in treating people with co-occurring disorders of mental illness and substance abuse. Both tear at the fabric of stability for individuals, families and the community. With the help of Recovery Resources' robust continuum of clinical and support services, clients regain stability by attaining employment, maintaining a home, positively connecting with family and friends, and more fully participating as engaged citizens of our community.

Recovery Resources is certified by both the Ohio Department of Mental Health and the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, and is nationally accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

Hitchcock Center for Women, Inc. (216) 421-0662

Welcome to the Hitchcock Center for Women, the place where healing begins. Our mission at Hitchcock is to "wholistically" empower women to achieve and maintain productive, chemically free lives at home, work and in the community. Why do we say “wholistically"? The “W” means something to the women who come to Hitchcock. They’re often battered, fractured, and frightened, but also looking to change their lives. They may have children. They may be broken, but they are always hopeful. Hitchcock is the only place in the region where these women can receive help and keep their children with them.

Residential Treatment: Hitchcock Center for Women is the only residential treatment provider in Cuyahoga County that specifically focuses on women, and allows women to bring multiple children (up to age 12) to treatment with them. Hitchcock's wholistic treatment model is gender specific and based on evidence from years of national research. Women living in residential treatment at Hitchcock are required to participate in 30 hours per week of services offered by Hitchcock, including counseling and wrap-around services.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment: (also known as IOP for "Intensive Outpatient Program") is a primary treatment program recommended in some circumstances by a clinical assessment. IOP can also enable people in recovery to continue their recovery therapies following a residential treatment program while living in their own homes. Clients participating in IOP are required to participate in ten hours of treatment and ten hours of case management per week.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment with Housing Support: Clients that need housing support with the same level of treatment as IOP can access Hitchcock’s IOP with Housing Support option. Clients have the same requirements as those participating in traditional IOP services, but also live at Hitchcock, and can live with children up to age ten.

Non-intensive Outpatient Services: Women that are seeking supportive services for their life in recovery will find our Non-Intensive Outpatient Services to be a valuable tool in their recovery. Services include counseling and case management tailored to meet the needs of each client’s recovery lifestyle and can provided as both primary and continuing care. Services are provided at a maximum of eight hours per week.

Halfway House: Halfway House services at Hitchcock work with women to give them support in the development of the recovery and coping skills needed to complete their reintegration into the community, family and workplace. Women participating in our Halfway House services are required to participate in ten hours per week of counseling and supportive services.

New Directions

 (216) 591-0324 

 Where To Turn
When drugs and alcohol lead adolescents down a dangerous path, New Directions can help guide them on a new course toward recovery.

An independent non-profit, New Directions is the only residential and outpatient treatment program of its kind in Northeast Ohio, providing residential treatment for over 40,000 adolescents and their families since 1981.

If you know a young person who needs help, please contact New Directions for professional intervention. Our multidisciplinary clinical treatment team of therapists, case managers, psychiatrists, and teachers are here to provide compassionate treatment for chemically dependent adolescents and their families.

We accept all referrals.
Fees vary according to services provided. New Directions’ services qualify for many third party insurance plans. Financial assistance is available.

New Directions provides quality life-changing treatment to chemically dependent adolescents and their families dealing with emotional, behavioral, or psychiatric needs.

New Directions will be the provider of choice for behavioral healthcare, setting the standards with innovative and evidence-based services.

Core Values

The Right Track


At New Directions, the right track begins with an assessment to evaluate each adolescent’s chemical use, mental health, and family situation. Upon completion of the assessment, recommendations are provided.

Gender Specific Residential Treatment
Chemically dependent adolescents receive intensive 24-hour treatment from a dedicated staff, which includes Certified Counselors, Medical Director, Psychiatrist, Nursing Director, and Registered Dietician. The therapeutic day includes the John F. Stafford Educational Program staffed with full-time teachers, and teaching assistants from Orange City Schools. The program also includes group therapy, individual therapy, art therapy, family therapy, trauma counseling, life skills training, physical recreation, and 12 step recovery meetings. Length of stay varies, based upon each adolescent’s needs.

Dual Diagnosis Residential Treatment
Male adolescents with a dual diagnosis receive intensive 24-hour treatment. This treatment program will include individual, group, and art therapy, medication management, and relapse prevention. Length of stay varies, based upon each adolescent’s needs.

Parent Education Program
Parents/guardians attend six (6) sessions of parent education when their child is involved in treatment at New Directions.  The group convenes on Saturdays from 9:30 – 11:30 am.  Chemical dependency, feelings, communication, parenting, and parenting issues are some of the topics covered during the sessions. 

Intensive Outpatient Treatment
For adolescents who do not need 24-hour supervision, or who have completed residential treatment, New Directions provides appropriate levels of intensive outpatient treatment.

Treatment consists of after-school sessions, three times a week, three hours per session, and includes family therapy. Length of stay varies, based upon each adolescent’s needs.

Continuing Care
When adolescents no longer require intensive residential or outpatient treatment, New Directions provides an individualized program of continuing care, and support to adolescents and their families.

Family and Individual Therapy
When necessary, New Directions will provide additional counseling services for both adolescents and their families.

Tracing Our Steps
New Directions began in 1980 as a “Demonstration Program” commissioned by the Ohio Department of Health. The Department had determined that drug and alcohol treatment for youth was Ohio’s most significant health priority. The state wanted this program to demonstrate a model for the successful treatment of chemically dependent adolescents after they returned from out-of-state hospital care. 

The W. Hayden Thompson Center at New Directions is located on three wooded acres on Cleveland’s east side. It provides pleasant living space for both male and female residential, and accommodates our outpatient treatments services as well.

New Directions’ clinical staff applies a holistic approach to recovery, addressing the emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual needs of each person.

New Directions does not discriminate based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical limitations, or national origin.

Stella Maris (216) 781-0550

 Stella Maris was founded May 10, 1948 and opened its doors six months later onNovember 16, 1948.

Father Otis Winchester, a young priest and assistant pastor at the neighboring St. Malachi Church in Cleveland, Ohio, along with seven members of a relatively new organization, Alcoholic Anonymous (AA), recognized the need in Cleveland for housing, health care, and a strong network of support to help those dealing with alcoholism take their first step on the road to recovery.

This dedicated group founded Stella Maris to help the “poorest of the poor.” It was the first independent rehabilitation center and halfway house services in Cuyahoga County to provide detoxification services to the alcohol and drug addicted.

The agency was named Stella Maris, the Latin for "Star of the Sea," in honor of the Mother of God. Stella Maris became a refuge for men dubbed by newspaper headlines as “derelict and debauched” and “skid row bums.” Homeless, down-and-out men were assured three meals a day, a prescribed course of treatment, and the camaraderie of other alcoholics seeking sobriety. Continue reading ...

Mission Statement
Stella Maris’ mission is to provide quality chemical dependency treatment and mental health services to our community regardless of race, sex, religion or ability to pay. Stella Maris will strive to make services available to all those seeking treatment based on presenting need and available treatment capacity. Stella Maris recognizes that alone we cannot meet the total needs of our community and will work with other community resources to improve the availability of appropriate services for the treatment of alcoholism and other addictions.

Subacute Detoxification for Men and Women

Persons Served: Adult, chemically dependent men and women.

Description: The Subacute Detoxification Unit consists of 16 beds for both men and women and is accredited by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (ODMHAS) and the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). The unit is staffed 24-hours a day by licensed nurses and all care is supervised by our team of physicians. Certified chemical dependency counselors provide education and counseling throughout the patient’s treatment and facilitate linkage with ongoing care upon discharge. AA and NA volunteers interact with clients introducing them to 12 step recovery principles and the recovering community.

Intensive Outpatient Programs for Men and Women

Persons Served: Adult, chemically dependent men and women.

Description: Outpatient Services range from 1 to 10 hours per week.  Clients may attend activities one to five days per week, including individual/group counseling, lectures, and case management. The intensity and frequency of the outpatient services is based upon each client’s needs and progress. AA and NA groups are held at Stella Maris each day to supplement the treatment services.

Catholic Charities Matt Talbot Inn  (216) 781-0288 and Matt Talbot for Women (216) 634-7500
Matt Talbot Inn: Provides residential alcohol and other drug addiction treatment for adult men who reside in Cuyahoga County who have received an alcohol and/or other drug assessment and meet the criteria of care as determined by the assessment. May have co-occurring mental health issues.

Matt Talbot for Women: Provides alcohol and other drug addiction treatment for adult women who reside in Cuyahoga County and who have received an assessment; alcohol and/or other drug dependent; may have co-occurring mental health issues. Has the capacity to accept women with young children.

 ORCA House (216) 231-3772 

ORCA House Inc. is a chemical dependency treatment center located in Cleveland Ohio that serves individuals who need treatment services for drug and alcohol addiction.Through therapy and education, individuals begin or resume their recovery process. There are many reasons why a person would need to attend ORCA House Inc in Cleveland. A few of the reasons are: the inability to control their drinking or drug use, alienating their friends and family, legal problems, severe depression and general unhappiness due to excessive drug or alcohol use.

If you need any further assistance please call us for further information. Our not for profit organization has helped thousands of people find the treatment options that changed their lives.

Community Action Against Addiction (216) 881-0765

Through treatment and therapy, Community Action against Addiction provides individuals residing in Cuyahoga County with substance use disorders with the tools and resources necessary to combat and overcome their addiction to heroin and other opiates, including Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) with methadone.

Methadone is a medication used in MAT to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates. Methadone has been used for decades to treat people who are addicted to heroin and narcotic pain medicines. When taken as prescribed, it is safe and effective. It allows people to recover from their addiction and to reclaim active and meaningful lives.

Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office is a public service agency responsible for the investigation of violent, suspicious and sudden and unexpected deaths, such as overdose deaths, including those due to opiates and heroin. The Medical Examiner's website contains heroin resources like ProjectDAWN, Drug Drop Box Program, maps and charts of heroin/fentanyl related deaths, a heroin fact sheet and more. 

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