Montgomery County has been devastated by the opioid crisis and the overwhelming impact it has had on our community. From 2012 to 2017, we had the highest unintentional drug overdose age-adjusted death rate in the state of Ohio. Overdose deaths steadily climbed from 130 in 2011 to 566 overdose deaths in 2017.
In September 2016, the Montgomery County Commissioners convened a community-wide forum to request that stakeholders work together to address the crisis. Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County and Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) took the lead in coordinating these efforts.
This resulted in the formation of the Community Overdose Action Team (COAT). The COAT’s primary goal is to reduce the number of fatal drug overdoses in Montgomery County. The team seeks to enhance current services, looks for gaps in existing services and explores more effective ways to combat drug overdoses. The COAT operates under a Collective Impact Model – an innovative and structured approach to making collaboration work across various sectors to achieve significant and lasting social change.
Tackling Complex Social Problems through Collective Impact
What is collective impact? How is it different from other forms of collaboration? We know that these questions aren’t always easy to answer, even for collective impact practitioners.
Since the inception of the COAT, members have increased collaboration and coordination, have re-allocated local funding and resources and have secured millions of dollars in both federal and state funding. The tireless efforts of the COAT members and the increase in funding has allowed for the continued development, enhancement or expansion of over 50 programs in the community.