Colin Columbus, despite its economic wellbeing, has not been

Colin Edwards

PUBAFRS 2120

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For You For Only $13.90/page!


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11/8/17

Short Paper

 

Columbus,
Ohio is a thriving metropolitan city in the Midwest. Columbus is home to a
population of approximately 860,090 and has experienced 9% growth since 2010 (United States Census Bureau, 2016). It enjoys an
unemployment rate lower than the national average of 4.1%, sitting at 3.7% in October
of 2017 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Central Ohio is a Midwestern
regional leader in growth, ranking first in population, job, wage, and GDP
growth. Columbus has a diverse economy with no individual sector accounting for
more than 19% of employment (Columbus 2020, 2017). This diversity
helped Columbus get through the Great Recession with comparatively less turmoil
than other cities.

Despite
its economic strengths, Columbus is not immune to societal problems.
Specifically, one issue has proven pervasive on a national scale and Columbus,
despite its economic wellbeing, has not been insulated from its effects. The
opioid epidemic has impacted Ohio more than many states. The rise of opiate
addiction has been attributed to the over-prescription of opiate pain killers.
Medical researchers have pointed out that “the quadrupled sales of opioid
analgesics between 1999 and 2010 are a perfect example of the therapeutic
opioid explosion” (Manchikanti,
et al., 2012)
and “between 1999 and 2010, prescription opioid-related overdose deaths
increased substantially in parallel with increased prescribing of opioids” (Schuchat,
Houry, & Guy Jr., 2017). Concurrent with the
increase in prescriptions for opioid pain medications “the number of
persons who had heroin dependence or abuse in 2013 (517,000) … was higher than
the numbers in 2002 to 2008 (ranging from 189,000 to 324,000)” (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration, 2014).

State
and local leaders have enacted measures to combat the spread of opiate
addiction and its corresponding health consequences, including bolstering
preventative youth education, establishing needle exchange programs, and
training law enforcement, first responders, and citizens in drug overdose
treatment. For example, Project Dawn is an initiative to provide life-saving
Naloxone and first-responder training to anyone in danger of overdose or who
knows of someone in danger of overdose. Although this program does not prevent
or address the route causes of opiate addiction, it is a harm reducing tactic
that is proven to save lives. Similarly, the Safe Point Syringe Exchange
Program was initiated in 2016 as a harm reduction strategy to curb the spread
of communicable diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Again, this program does
not address the route cause of opiate addiction, but substantially decreases
the public health risks and correlating public costs of the crisis. These
programs also provide access to the counseling and rehabilitation services that
can address the route causes of drug addiction.

Programs
such as Start Talking! which promotes conversations with youth about living a
drug free lifestyle can help in deterring children from developing drug
addictions. However, they do nothing to address the problems of helping those
who are already addicted. The simple truth is that there is not one approach or
program that can fix this pervasive problem. Only through a multi-channel
approach and attacking the problem from all sides can it possibly be contained.
Legislation and programs that decrease the number of new addicts are just as important
as legislation and programs that help current addicts stay infection free, out
of jail, and connected to treatment options.

Despite
these programs, the rates of drug arrests and confiscations continue to
increase. In 2016, Ohio State Highway Patrol alone confiscated 167 pounds of
heroin, representing a 361% increase since 2011. They also made 13,334 arrests
for illegal drugs, representing 136% increase since 2010. In just “the first
seven months of 2017, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seized more than
25,000 opiate pills,” representing a 14% increase from the year-to-date 2016 (Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team, 2017).

Considering
the continuation of the problem despite the extent to which services are currently
provided, a motivated civic leader is needed to mobilize large-scale
stakeholder participation in outreach and harm reduction programs. The
legislature will be motivated to continue working on the problem simply by the
increased action and participation of their constituents. Many of the laws
created by the state cannot benefit from increased public participation since
they are not accessible to the public. For example, the state opioid medication
registry and tracking system is a structural tool that the public can in no way
affect. Similarly, the new Mental Health & Addiction Services arm of the
Department of Corrections is isolated from the public by its nature. It
operates in the prison system and only those who are employed or incarcerated
can legally participate. A public crisis of this magnitude affects the entire
community. A full list of stakeholders is attached in Appendix A which also
includes a stakeholder Power vs. Interest analysis. The focus on increasing
participation will center on the citizenry as they possess both the lowest
interest and power to direct policy, but have the largest numbers and
therefore, unfulfilled potential to affect change.

The
goal is to elicit greater direct public participation in official government
and non-profit programs of which there are two facets; immediate and long-term
participation. The leader must utilize thin participation to raise awareness
and funds, petition, and develop a base from which thick participation can be
encouraged. Thick participation should be utilized to develop citizen ownership
of community services such as homeless shelters, food banks, public clinics,
counseling and rehabilitation centers, and after-school youth prevention
programs. Based on the IAP2 Spectrum of Participation, the leader must “involve”
the public but no more. There is a diverse range in opinion on how to best deal
with the crisis at large as well as with individuals. The degree is so large
that over-participation in the decision-making process will hinder the efficiency
of delivering services on a large scale. The leader must have enough power to
affect the changes in programs that citizens demand and enough social capital
to resist giving in to all citizens’ diverse expectations. However, addiction is
so invasive of all groups that an environment exists wherein bridging
activities can be more effective. The duty of the civic leader is to build a
system which directs individuals towards the specific programs that align with
their values while still contributing to the collective good.

Before
determining participation scenarios and tactics, a leader must be identified.
For an issue as substantial as addressing the national opioid crisis, the
leader must be a high ranking and established official. They are going to have
to collaborate across multiple agencies, sectors, and industries. They must
have experience and proven success at such collaboration as well as competency
interacting with the federal government. Governor John Kasich assembled the
Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Task Force “to attack
opiate abuse on every front. The Action Team is comprised of several state
agencies that work together to combat opiate abuse by making a difference in
each of their respective areas of influence” (Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team, 2017). This team has the
resources and experience needed to effectively combat the epidemic. The leader
of the Action Team is also the leader responsible for enacting the
recommendations to follow.

According
to Nabatchi’s participation scenarios and objectives, there are three which the
civic leader should seek to emulate. The first scenario is to gather public input,
feedback, and preferences. The objectives are to develop a deeper understanding
of the public’s perception of the problem, their preferences and priorities for
decision-making, and to start developing community buy-in. The specific tactics
that the civic leader should utilize are social media aggregation, surveys and
polls, focus groups, online deliberation, and public deliberation. Surveys,
polls, and focus groups are the traditional methods for collecting data on
public preferences, input, and feedback.

These
traditional methods should be utilized, however, the rise of technology and
social media as a mode of communication and obtaining information requires
special attention be paid to the tactics of social media aggregation and online
deliberation. The advent and proliferation of social media enables large
amounts of thin participation. Everyone has opinions, and many voice them on
social media. Aggregation tools can sift through enormous amounts of social
media information, searching for commonalities to determine public opinion on
specific topics. As public interaction shifts ever more online, an effective
civic leader must also direct their recruitment and information gathering
tactics online. Emphasizing this tactic will increase the leader’s
understanding of public preferences as it generates “participation from the
‘bottom-up,’ rather than trying to orchestrate it from the ‘top-down'” (Nabatchi & Leighninger, 2015). More importantly,
it is the job of government to “go where people are when seeking to engage with
them” (OECD, 2009)
resulting in greater rates of participation.

The
second scenario is to motivate citizens to generate new ideas. The objective is
to increase innovation through access to stakeholder and non-institutional
creativity, and further identify stakeholder priorities. Specifically, the
civic leader should utilize online problem reporting, crowdsourcing and
mini-grants, and a collaborative planning process. Again, without abandoning
the traditional methods of employing these tactics but considering the dramatic
increase in citizen’s online communication, these tactics should be replicated
on web-based systems. For instance, if a community member has a complaint or
recommendation about a syringe exchange program operating in their
neighborhood, they should be able to submit that comment in an anonymous and
direct manner via the program’s website as well as at a town hall meeting, by
mail, or by phone.

The
effective civic leader will make sure that these inputs and ideas are regularly
collected, examined, and made available to decision makers. Making input
channels more available to the public will increase participation simply by
virtue of increased accessibility. The civic leader must make sure to advertise
these tools to the public. The best method for advertising these tactics is to train
existing participants to share their experiences and encourage their
acquaintances to participate.

The
third scenario is to support volunteerism and citizen-driven problem solving. The
objective is to both encourage increased community problem solving
self-sufficiency and to bolster the organizations that are already actively addressing
the problem (Nabatchi & Leighninger, 2015). Engaging citizens
while gathering information will help develop community buy-in and set up
success in increasing volunteerism. The specific tactics to use are
replications from earlier scenarios. Online reporting and problem solving,
crowdsourcing, online networks, and collaborative planning are the most crucial
tactics. As in previous scenarios, these tactics must be adapted to accommodate
an increased reliance on web-based platforms. However, this scenario relies
primarily on real-world personal relationships and experiences. Encouraging
participation and volunteerism on the ground level requires meeting volunteers in
the field and encouraging them in person. This is perhaps the hardest tactic for
the civic leader to employ themselves. Although they cannot be the primary
point of contact for the public, they must remain visibly engaged and inclusive
in the process. The leader must also encourage their lieutenants to behave
similarly to build stakeholder buy-in from the top-down. 

Considering
the expansive impact of the opioid crisis, it is likely to continue for some
time. Therefore, positive results cannot be expected immediately. The problem
is also so intricate and complicated that positive results may be difficult to
prove. Correlation does not prove to causality. However, the goal of increasing
public participation can be easily measured. By measuring and analyzing the
numbers of volunteers, the frequency at which they volunteer, and the sum and
average number of hours volunteered the leader can determine if the goal is
being accomplished. The goal is 100% participation with a timeline of as long
as it takes. This goal is idealistic, which is required to combat such an
insidious problem. This goal will never be reached as the cost of continuing
these programs will eventually outweigh the benefit of serving fewer customers
as the epidemic is effectively tackled. However, the quicker volunteers can be recruited,
and community participation increased, the quicker the problem can be
eliminated, or at least reduced to non-pandemic proportions.

 

 

Works Cited

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017, November 7). Economy
at a Glance: Columbus, OH. Retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics:
https://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.oh_columbus_msa.htm
Columbus 2020. (2017, November 7). Overview: The
Region of the Future. Retrieved from Columbus 2020:

Regional Overview


Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team. (2017,
December 8). About. Retrieved from Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action
Team: http://fightingopiateabuse.ohio.gov/About
Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team. (2017). Combating
the Opiate Crisis in Ohio. Columbus: Governer’s Cabinet Opiate Action
Team.
Manchikanti, L., Helm, S., Fellows, B., Janata, J.
W., Pampati, V., Grider, J. S., & Boswell, M. V. (2012). Opiod Epidemic in
the United States. Pain Physician.
Nabatchi, T., & Leighninger, M. (2015). Public
Participation for 21st Century Democracy. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons,
Inc.
OECD. (2009). Focus on citizens: Public engagement
for better policy and services. Paris: OECD Publishing.
Schuchat, A., Houry, D., & Guy Jr., G. P. (2017,
August 1). New Data on Opioid Use and Prescriging in the United States. JAMA,
pp. 425-426.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration. (2014). Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use
and Health: Summary of National Findings. Rockville: Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration.
United States Census Bureau. (2016, JULY 1). QuickFacts:
Columbus, Ohio. Retrieved from United States Census Bureau:
https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/columbuscityohio/PST045216#qf-headnote-a
 

 

 

 

 

 

Colin Edwards

PUBAFRS 2120

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

11/8/17

Short Paper

 

Columbus,
Ohio is a thriving metropolitan city in the Midwest. Columbus is home to a
population of approximately 860,090 and has experienced 9% growth since 2010 (United States Census Bureau, 2016). It enjoys an
unemployment rate lower than the national average of 4.1%, sitting at 3.7% in October
of 2017 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Central Ohio is a Midwestern
regional leader in growth, ranking first in population, job, wage, and GDP
growth. Columbus has a diverse economy with no individual sector accounting for
more than 19% of employment (Columbus 2020, 2017). This diversity
helped Columbus get through the Great Recession with comparatively less turmoil
than other cities.

Despite
its economic strengths, Columbus is not immune to societal problems.
Specifically, one issue has proven pervasive on a national scale and Columbus,
despite its economic wellbeing, has not been insulated from its effects. The
opioid epidemic has impacted Ohio more than many states. The rise of opiate
addiction has been attributed to the over-prescription of opiate pain killers.
Medical researchers have pointed out that “the quadrupled sales of opioid
analgesics between 1999 and 2010 are a perfect example of the therapeutic
opioid explosion” (Manchikanti,
et al., 2012)
and “between 1999 and 2010, prescription opioid-related overdose deaths
increased substantially in parallel with increased prescribing of opioids” (Schuchat,
Houry, & Guy Jr., 2017). Concurrent with the
increase in prescriptions for opioid pain medications “the number of
persons who had heroin dependence or abuse in 2013 (517,000) … was higher than
the numbers in 2002 to 2008 (ranging from 189,000 to 324,000)” (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration, 2014).

State
and local leaders have enacted measures to combat the spread of opiate
addiction and its corresponding health consequences, including bolstering
preventative youth education, establishing needle exchange programs, and
training law enforcement, first responders, and citizens in drug overdose
treatment. For example, Project Dawn is an initiative to provide life-saving
Naloxone and first-responder training to anyone in danger of overdose or who
knows of someone in danger of overdose. Although this program does not prevent
or address the route causes of opiate addiction, it is a harm reducing tactic
that is proven to save lives. Similarly, the Safe Point Syringe Exchange
Program was initiated in 2016 as a harm reduction strategy to curb the spread
of communicable diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Again, this program does
not address the route cause of opiate addiction, but substantially decreases
the public health risks and correlating public costs of the crisis. These
programs also provide access to the counseling and rehabilitation services that
can address the route causes of drug addiction.

Programs
such as Start Talking! which promotes conversations with youth about living a
drug free lifestyle can help in deterring children from developing drug
addictions. However, they do nothing to address the problems of helping those
who are already addicted. The simple truth is that there is not one approach or
program that can fix this pervasive problem. Only through a multi-channel
approach and attacking the problem from all sides can it possibly be contained.
Legislation and programs that decrease the number of new addicts are just as important
as legislation and programs that help current addicts stay infection free, out
of jail, and connected to treatment options.

Despite
these programs, the rates of drug arrests and confiscations continue to
increase. In 2016, Ohio State Highway Patrol alone confiscated 167 pounds of
heroin, representing a 361% increase since 2011. They also made 13,334 arrests
for illegal drugs, representing 136% increase since 2010. In just “the first
seven months of 2017, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seized more than
25,000 opiate pills,” representing a 14% increase from the year-to-date 2016 (Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team, 2017).

Considering
the continuation of the problem despite the extent to which services are currently
provided, a motivated civic leader is needed to mobilize large-scale
stakeholder participation in outreach and harm reduction programs. The
legislature will be motivated to continue working on the problem simply by the
increased action and participation of their constituents. Many of the laws
created by the state cannot benefit from increased public participation since
they are not accessible to the public. For example, the state opioid medication
registry and tracking system is a structural tool that the public can in no way
affect. Similarly, the new Mental Health & Addiction Services arm of the
Department of Corrections is isolated from the public by its nature. It
operates in the prison system and only those who are employed or incarcerated
can legally participate. A public crisis of this magnitude affects the entire
community. A full list of stakeholders is attached in Appendix A which also
includes a stakeholder Power vs. Interest analysis. The focus on increasing
participation will center on the citizenry as they possess both the lowest
interest and power to direct policy, but have the largest numbers and
therefore, unfulfilled potential to affect change.

The
goal is to elicit greater direct public participation in official government
and non-profit programs of which there are two facets; immediate and long-term
participation. The leader must utilize thin participation to raise awareness
and funds, petition, and develop a base from which thick participation can be
encouraged. Thick participation should be utilized to develop citizen ownership
of community services such as homeless shelters, food banks, public clinics,
counseling and rehabilitation centers, and after-school youth prevention
programs. Based on the IAP2 Spectrum of Participation, the leader must “involve”
the public but no more. There is a diverse range in opinion on how to best deal
with the crisis at large as well as with individuals. The degree is so large
that over-participation in the decision-making process will hinder the efficiency
of delivering services on a large scale. The leader must have enough power to
affect the changes in programs that citizens demand and enough social capital
to resist giving in to all citizens’ diverse expectations. However, addiction is
so invasive of all groups that an environment exists wherein bridging
activities can be more effective. The duty of the civic leader is to build a
system which directs individuals towards the specific programs that align with
their values while still contributing to the collective good.

Before
determining participation scenarios and tactics, a leader must be identified.
For an issue as substantial as addressing the national opioid crisis, the
leader must be a high ranking and established official. They are going to have
to collaborate across multiple agencies, sectors, and industries. They must
have experience and proven success at such collaboration as well as competency
interacting with the federal government. Governor John Kasich assembled the
Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Task Force “to attack
opiate abuse on every front. The Action Team is comprised of several state
agencies that work together to combat opiate abuse by making a difference in
each of their respective areas of influence” (Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team, 2017). This team has the
resources and experience needed to effectively combat the epidemic. The leader
of the Action Team is also the leader responsible for enacting the
recommendations to follow.

According
to Nabatchi’s participation scenarios and objectives, there are three which the
civic leader should seek to emulate. The first scenario is to gather public input,
feedback, and preferences. The objectives are to develop a deeper understanding
of the public’s perception of the problem, their preferences and priorities for
decision-making, and to start developing community buy-in. The specific tactics
that the civic leader should utilize are social media aggregation, surveys and
polls, focus groups, online deliberation, and public deliberation. Surveys,
polls, and focus groups are the traditional methods for collecting data on
public preferences, input, and feedback.

These
traditional methods should be utilized, however, the rise of technology and
social media as a mode of communication and obtaining information requires
special attention be paid to the tactics of social media aggregation and online
deliberation. The advent and proliferation of social media enables large
amounts of thin participation. Everyone has opinions, and many voice them on
social media. Aggregation tools can sift through enormous amounts of social
media information, searching for commonalities to determine public opinion on
specific topics. As public interaction shifts ever more online, an effective
civic leader must also direct their recruitment and information gathering
tactics online. Emphasizing this tactic will increase the leader’s
understanding of public preferences as it generates “participation from the
‘bottom-up,’ rather than trying to orchestrate it from the ‘top-down'” (Nabatchi & Leighninger, 2015). More importantly,
it is the job of government to “go where people are when seeking to engage with
them” (OECD, 2009)
resulting in greater rates of participation.

The
second scenario is to motivate citizens to generate new ideas. The objective is
to increase innovation through access to stakeholder and non-institutional
creativity, and further identify stakeholder priorities. Specifically, the
civic leader should utilize online problem reporting, crowdsourcing and
mini-grants, and a collaborative planning process. Again, without abandoning
the traditional methods of employing these tactics but considering the dramatic
increase in citizen’s online communication, these tactics should be replicated
on web-based systems. For instance, if a community member has a complaint or
recommendation about a syringe exchange program operating in their
neighborhood, they should be able to submit that comment in an anonymous and
direct manner via the program’s website as well as at a town hall meeting, by
mail, or by phone.

The
effective civic leader will make sure that these inputs and ideas are regularly
collected, examined, and made available to decision makers. Making input
channels more available to the public will increase participation simply by
virtue of increased accessibility. The civic leader must make sure to advertise
these tools to the public. The best method for advertising these tactics is to train
existing participants to share their experiences and encourage their
acquaintances to participate.

The
third scenario is to support volunteerism and citizen-driven problem solving. The
objective is to both encourage increased community problem solving
self-sufficiency and to bolster the organizations that are already actively addressing
the problem (Nabatchi & Leighninger, 2015). Engaging citizens
while gathering information will help develop community buy-in and set up
success in increasing volunteerism. The specific tactics to use are
replications from earlier scenarios. Online reporting and problem solving,
crowdsourcing, online networks, and collaborative planning are the most crucial
tactics. As in previous scenarios, these tactics must be adapted to accommodate
an increased reliance on web-based platforms. However, this scenario relies
primarily on real-world personal relationships and experiences. Encouraging
participation and volunteerism on the ground level requires meeting volunteers in
the field and encouraging them in person. This is perhaps the hardest tactic for
the civic leader to employ themselves. Although they cannot be the primary
point of contact for the public, they must remain visibly engaged and inclusive
in the process. The leader must also encourage their lieutenants to behave
similarly to build stakeholder buy-in from the top-down. 

Considering
the expansive impact of the opioid crisis, it is likely to continue for some
time. Therefore, positive results cannot be expected immediately. The problem
is also so intricate and complicated that positive results may be difficult to
prove. Correlation does not prove to causality. However, the goal of increasing
public participation can be easily measured. By measuring and analyzing the
numbers of volunteers, the frequency at which they volunteer, and the sum and
average number of hours volunteered the leader can determine if the goal is
being accomplished. The goal is 100% participation with a timeline of as long
as it takes. This goal is idealistic, which is required to combat such an
insidious problem. This goal will never be reached as the cost of continuing
these programs will eventually outweigh the benefit of serving fewer customers
as the epidemic is effectively tackled. However, the quicker volunteers can be recruited,
and community participation increased, the quicker the problem can be
eliminated, or at least reduced to non-pandemic proportions.

 

 

Works Cited

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017, November 7). Economy
at a Glance: Columbus, OH. Retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics:
https://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.oh_columbus_msa.htm
Columbus 2020. (2017, November 7). Overview: The
Region of the Future. Retrieved from Columbus 2020:

Regional Overview


Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team. (2017,
December 8). About. Retrieved from Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action
Team: http://fightingopiateabuse.ohio.gov/About
Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team. (2017). Combating
the Opiate Crisis in Ohio. Columbus: Governer’s Cabinet Opiate Action
Team.
Manchikanti, L., Helm, S., Fellows, B., Janata, J.
W., Pampati, V., Grider, J. S., & Boswell, M. V. (2012). Opiod Epidemic in
the United States. Pain Physician.
Nabatchi, T., & Leighninger, M. (2015). Public
Participation for 21st Century Democracy. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons,
Inc.
OECD. (2009). Focus on citizens: Public engagement
for better policy and services. Paris: OECD Publishing.
Schuchat, A., Houry, D., & Guy Jr., G. P. (2017,
August 1). New Data on Opioid Use and Prescriging in the United States. JAMA,
pp. 425-426.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration. (2014). Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use
and Health: Summary of National Findings. Rockville: Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration.
United States Census Bureau. (2016, JULY 1). QuickFacts:
Columbus, Ohio. Retrieved from United States Census Bureau:
https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/columbuscityohio/PST045216#qf-headnote-a
 

 

 

 

 

 

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