Skip to Content

Contact: Carol Harmon, The Columbus Foundation,, 614/251-4000


The Columbus Foundation Announces Critical Need Alert To Address Growing Opiate Addiction Crisis In Central Ohio

COLUMBUS, OH (December 14, 2016)—On the heels of news that Ohio leads the nation in opiate overdose deaths, The Columbus Foundation has launched an effort to bring donors and the community together to increase prevention, awareness, and provide help to those struggling with opiate addiction, as well as support for their families.

Funds raised through the Foundation’s Critical Need Alert (CNA), Addressing the Opiate Epidemic, which launched on December 9, will fund the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH)’s work with local partners to invest in programs, services, and an innovative technology that will provide help to addicts and their families.

Thanks to support from the William C. and Naoma W. Denison, James W. Overstreet, and Martha G. Staub funds of The Columbus Foundation, 50 cents will be added to every dollar donated to the CNA, until the Foundation reaches its goal of $475,000.

“Franklin County saw a 30 percent increase in opiate-related overdose deaths from 2014 to 2015, and the number continues to climb. Opiate addiction does not discriminate, and has reached a crisis level in our community,” said Douglas F. Kridler, President and CEO of The Columbus Foundation.

We are hopeful this support will equip those on the front lines with the tools necessary to respond to the need, and provide help to those who need it.

— Douglas F. Kridler, President and CEO, The Columbus Foundation

The $475,000 the Foundation hopes to raise will support:

  • Development of an integrated technology solution to connect people struggling with addiction
  • Increased training for providers and first responders
  • Research to inform the creation of a comprehensive, evidence-based community mental health campaign targeting addiction that directs individuals to one community phone number and website for addiction treatment
  • Implementation of a public education campaign to blanket Franklin County that will include a new website portal, marketing of a new, expanded crisis phone number, and the launch of the first-ever Chat Now service that will connect to trained Netcare professional staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Increased staffing to support crisis line and portal use to serve people who are in the throes of addiction as well as family and friends seeking to provide support and intervention

“ADAMH of Franklin County has a long and steady commitment to helping residents of our community stay or become healthy, productive, and engaged—free from the negative impacts of mental illness and substance abuse,” said David Royer, CEO of ADAMH. “Unfortunately, central Ohio and much of our state and nation are being ravaged by opiates and heroin. ADAMH must intervene in this situation. And thanks to The Columbus Foundation and its generous donor family, we hope to have additional resources to address education, prevention, treatment, and recovery. By providing support in each of these areas, we all can be confident that our community will turn the corner on this epidemic.”

CNAs were created for donors and community members who want to participate in a shared investment opportunity and partner with the Foundation to support our community’s greatest needs and best opportunities to meet those needs.

To date, CNAs have leveraged more than $6.6 million for a wide range of initiatives including childcare, food for families, basic needs, fresh food, and the arts. CNA’s are identified by our Community Research and Grants Management team, which strategically verify local nonprofits to ensure the most effective philanthropy possible.

To learn more about Addressing the Opiate Epidemic, visit:


About The Columbus Foundation
The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to 2,500 individuals, families, and businesses who have created charitable funds and planned gifts to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Serving the region for more than 70 years, The Columbus Foundation is the seventh largest community foundation in the United States. The Foundation’s online marketplace, PowerPhilanthropy,® makes giving mobile, easy, and smart. For more information, visit or call 614/251-4000.

December 14, 2016