Greg interviews Orlando Howard, the Manager of Outpatient Services at Rosary Hall of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland. Started in 1865, the medical center has provided healing services to the Cleveland community for over 150 years! Dedicated to the healing ministry of Jesus, the center has been quite involved in the Northeast Ohio opioid epidemic. Orlando shares how St. Vincent is reaching out into the opioid addict community by actively responding to the changing face of addiction.
Orlando himself became involved in the addiction field after losing his sister in 1986 and struggling with his own addiction for many years. He says St. Vincent is increasingly seeing younger individuals, aged 18-20, struggling with substance abuse. He notes how 50 years ago, the average age of someone struggling with addiction was 50—It’s currently 27. He also notes how the number of addicts admitted has changed. “20 years ago we admitted 5 to 7 opioid addicts a week. Today, we admit 5 to 7 a day. That’s a staggering increase,” says Orlando. When asked if he had unlimited resources to solve this problem, Orlando says he would do three things: invest in education of middle schools, education of doctors and holistic treatment.