Columbus, OH,
17:45 PM

The Columbus Dispatch: Ryan Squier - Emergency Department Physician Reaches Teens to Prevent Drug Abuse

All too often we see drug addiction and drug overdoses take over a community, and at the hospital level we also see it take over the emergency departments.

Ryan Squier, MD, emergency medicine physician at multiple OhioHealth emergency departments, says that more and more he sees patients coming as overdose victims just as much as heart attack victims.

“You see it everywhere and that’s the thing,” Squier told The Columbus Dispatch, “We’re seeing it daily.”

Impacted by his experience working with overdose victims, Squier was inspired to create Nix Opiates, an organization for teen education on drug abuse. As a part of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) in Ohio, Nix Opiates teaches middle and high school students the science and statistics behind opioid addiction.

Squier’s hope for this program is to reach young people early and says that it is not uncommon for young teens to get their hands on opioids.

"Seeing high school kids coming for overdose is not an uncommon event," he told NBC4 News, in September 2016 when the program launched. "I can tell you every community in the Columbus area is affected by this and we have to do something, have to start talking about it."

Nix Opiates is now heading into its two-year anniversary, and more than 7,000 students have experienced the program and received hands-on learning experience about the dangers of opioid addiction.

For his efforts to end opioid addiction and his efforts to improve the central Ohio community, Squier was named one of 25 honorees for the 2018 Everyday Heroes awards presented through The Columbus Dispatch. Squier was recognized for his selflessness in trying to better Columbus communities through his program.

Squier hopes that Nix Opiates will continue to expand throughout different schools in the central Ohio community and said he will not stop until a difference is made.

“I’ll say it 100 times, and if one person listens to me about their health choices, that’s still one percent,” Squier told The Columbus Dispatch. “I’ll say it ‘til I’m blue in the face because I want to make sure I’m helping people if I can save their life.”

To learn more about Nix Opiates visit the Ohio ACEP website or click on the link.

To read the full story, click on the Columbus Dispatch logo below.

(Photo Courtesy: Fred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch)