In 2012, the Claridon Township Trustees generously gave the use of a century home on Township property to a group of moms and Judge Stupica for a home for women in recovery provided they could bring the house up to code. The project was dormant for four years due to the lack of funding.
By 2016, some had lost daughters to the Opioid Epidemic and as awareness and statistics grew so did funding. The idea was revisited by the then Opiate Task Force and approved by the Township with the same stipulations. But upon further inspection and engineering roadblocks, it became clear the house was beyond repair. The Township again granted lease of the land to build a new structure. In time, however, it became evident that the restrictions of building on government property would hinder our progress.
In 2017, Many of those families stepped up support to help Red Tulip provide a safe, sober home in Geauga County with a longer recovery horizon. Those families became board members, ran fundraisers, managed and donated to the construction – none more heartfelt than the Dvorak Family.
In May of 2018, we began construction of the home on donated property just to the North of the original site. The generosity of the construction community was amazing with approximately 68.5% of the build was donated time and materials.
The new Monarch Meadow home is a 2,400 sq. ft., three bedroom, three bath ranch. The residence provides housing for five women at a time including the resident lead tenant.
Impacts on the opiate epidemic
Impacts of the Opiate Epidemic in Geauga County are far- reaching. In 2007, unintentional drug poisoning became the leading cause of injury death in Ohio, surpassing motor vehicle crashed for the first time on record. This tread has continued.
According to The Ohio Department of Health In 2018, 3,764 people died of unintentional drug overdoses, a decrease of 1,090 compared to 2017 and the lowest number of deaths since 2015. Fentanyl was involved in nearly 73% of overdose deaths in 2018, often in combination with other drugs. That percentage was up from 71% in 2017, 58% in 2016, and nearly 38% in 2015.
In 2018, fentanyl was involved in nearly 80% of all heroin-related overdose deaths, 74% of all cocaine-related overdose deaths, and 67% of all psychostimulant/methamphetamine-related overdose deaths. Carfentanil was involved in 75 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2018 compared to 1,010 in 2017.
The number of overdose deaths involving natural and semi-synthetic opioids (e.g., oxycodone and hydrocodone) declined 42% from 2017 to 2018.
The Opiate taskforce
The Opiate TaskForce was formed in 2012 as a committee of Geauga County leaders working to promote a “Drug-free Geauga” program, using county resources to remove unused prescription drugs from the community and keep unlawful drugs out.
The Red Tulip Project (RTP), adopted the red tulip as a symbol of hope and healing, is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization working to support the work of the task force, and worked to build a sober house where women in recovery have a safe, sober environment to heal from the effects of addiction.