Lake Erie College and the Lake County Crime Laboratory partner to present Opioid Outreach & Education Evenings


As the opioid epidemic continues to take its toll across the country, two local organizations are taking a stand. Lake Erie College and the Lake County Crime Laboratory have partnered to present Opioid Outreach & Education Evenings, a series of events intended to inform Lake County residents about opioids and the crisis they impose.

Taking place on Tuesday, April 10 and Tuesday, April 17, 2018, the Opioid Outreach & Education Evenings will involve panel discussions with area experts followed by question and answer periods. Local addiction treatment and rehabilitation specialists will be on hand to speak with individuals and families battling the opioid epidemic in Lake County.

The event on April 10 will focus on the science of addiction and related legal ramifications while the event on April 17 will discuss rehabilitation and the psychology of addiction. Both events will take place in the Helen Rockwell Morley Memorial Music Building on the Lake Erie College campus beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Dr. Johnathan Tedesco, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and associate professor of chemistry at LEC, will serve as the emcee each evening, moderating the panel discussions before turning the conversation over to audience questions.

Dr. Tedesco conceptualized these panel events in collaboration with Douglas Rohde, MS, supervisor of chemistry and toxicology at the Lake County Crime Laboratory and an adjunct instructor at LEC.  

“The opioid epidemic is a community issue that affects a large number of people in different ways,” said Tedesco. “Education is always one of the first steps to solving a problem. Institutions like ours have a responsibility to not just be part of the discussion, but to foster and lead that discussion in an informed and compassionate way.”

Noting the unprecedented loss of life caused by unintentional drug overdoses in the State of Ohio (5,232 between June 2016 and June 2017, according to the CDC), Tedesco and Rohde resolved to provide public communication on the issue.

“Illicitly manufactured opioids are emerging as a significant threat to public health,” said Rohde. “By presenting educational panels on opioids, we hope to help Lake County residents better understand the opioid epidemic and the crisis we’re facing.”

Panelists for the April 10 and April 17 events include representatives from the Emerald Jenny Foundation, Crossroads, Beacon Health, the Concord Township Fire Department, Signature Health, the Lake County Crime Laboratory, the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office, the Lake County General Health District, and Lake Erie College.

Individuals who have dealt firsthand with the opioid epidemic will also take part, including Ms. Rose DeRoia, a pharmacist from Twinsburg, Ohio. After losing one of her children to the disease of opiate addiction, DeRoia made it her personal mission to educate the public on these issues.

“I am beyond blessed to be my son’s voice in the hopes of educating the public and reducing the stigma that haunts us all,” she said. “Forums like these panels are crucial to addressing the opiate epidemic. By providing education and awareness, we are working toward ending the stigma around this chronic relapsing disease of the brain.”

The Opioid Outreach & Education Evenings on April 10 and April 17 are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Johnathan Tedesco at  

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