Skip to main content
Map of Portsmouth City Health Department service area

Portsmouth City
Health Department

Population: 76,825


Scioto County, Ohio, is designated as a “distressed county” by the Appalachian Regional Commission, which means that it ranks in the worst ten percent of the nation’s counties economically. Scioto County has the second highest rate of opioid addiction in the state of Ohio, with 79.6 percent of all treatment admissions due to opioid addiction. Preliminary data for 2018 indicates that the county had a fatal overdose rate of 67.3 per 100,000, the highest in the state. An average of 55 people are treated for overdose each month at local emergency departments. The Portsmouth City Health Department (PCHD) will work with its partners to develop an overdose response team (ORT). The team will respond to calls of nonfatal overdoses, following up with the individuals and their treatment providers to determine what resources suit the individuals’ needs. An Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) system will be put into place to help determine where the ORT is most needed. The PCHD will work with church communities to disseminate prevention education information, Narcan training, and personal hygiene kits. In addition, billboards and other signage throughout the community will be utilized to promote early intervention and harm minimalization. Lastly, the PCHD developed the Recovery Gateway, a health navigation program that serves as an access point for high-risk individuals seeking help for addiction treatment, harm reduction, or other medical and social services. The Recovery Gateway established the Early Intervention Program, which works with the prosecutor’s office for referrals to the program as an alternative to incarceration. Completion of the program allows nonviolent substance abuse-related charges to be dropped. Partners with the Early Intervention Program will help individuals complete the program by providing resources such as job preparedness skills, housing, and training.