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508 residents die annually of overdoses

By Bridget Doherty

Hamilton County Commission

Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution ensuring Hamilton County employees and their families receive the resources and support they need to engage in and recover from substance use disorder. Commissioners voted to lead by example with the Recovery Friendly Hamilton County Initiative and encourage Hamilton County businesses and organizations to provide addiction and recovery resources. September is National Recovery Month, a time to educate on prevention and celebrate those in recovery.

Since 2015, an average of 508 Hamilton County residents die of drug overdoses each year. The National Drug Intelligence Center estimates drug abuse costs the country more than $120 billion per year in lost productivity.  Conversely, an employee in recovery saves their employer an average of $8,500 per year.* 

“We are changing the culture in Hamilton County to a more welcoming and inclusive County,” said Denise Driehaus, Hamilton County Commissioner and Executive Chair of the Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition. “These evidence-based recommendations came directly from the business community themselves to provide support to employees on the road to recovery.”

In 2019, the Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition added a Business Subcommittee to analyze a variety of strategies to help businesses utilize their existing resources and networks to create workplace solutions to combat the opioid epidemic in Hamilton County. The Business Committee focused on how local businesses can proactively tackle such workplace challenges as absenteeism, health care costs, workplace safety and wellness.

“By taking action to become a Recovery Friendly Workplace, this Board commits to standing with our employees and our residents on their recovery journey,” said Commission President Stephanie Summerow Dumas. “Providing a safe and healthy work environment that addresses addiction head on sends a strong message that prevention and recovery work.”

“The business toolkit is a great resource for businesses who want to be recovery friendly, but don’t know exactly how to do it,” said Commission Vice President Alicia Reece. “We are pulling all of our partners and resources together on this- from Public Health, to Reentry, to Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition- asking employers and employees to foster a recovery friendly environment.”

If you’re interested in joining Recovery Friendly Hamilton County or would like to request more information about the initiative, please contact us at or 513-801-6205, or

*Information from 2020 research by NORC, University of Chicago, the National Safety Council and

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