Your Great Idea Could Save Lives

Much of the technology that has made our lives longer, more productive and more enjoyable did not come from professional researchers. It came from tinkerers — people like you — who had great ideas.

Our states certainly could use some of those, to deal with the substance abuse epidemic that kills hundreds of Ohioans and West Virginians every year.

An initiative within Ohio state government is aimed at finding and developing good ideas to combat drug abuse. Called the Opioid Challenge, it has $8 million to “incentivize” ideas to curb substance abuse.

Part of the campaign is seeking ideas from the public. Prizes are being offered — $10,000 for the best suggestion and $500 each for 40 runners-up. Already, more than 200 recommendations have been received.

Time is short, however. If you have an idea, it needs to be submitted by Dec. 15 for prize consideration.

Guidelines for submissions are that they must identify a problem or unmet need related to the drug crisis, and outline a potential solution. Ideas can be submitted at www.OpioidTechChallenge.com. More information on the competition can be found there, too.

Drug abuse, not just of opioids but of other substances, is the most critical problem of our time. As we have noted previously, every weapon we can find needs to be used against the scourge.

If you have an idea, by all means submit it. Do not assume your thought is so simple that someone else has come up with it already. Do not decide it is useless because it will help only a few people. Do not give up on it because you have thought through several steps but have hit a roadblock there; state officials have plans to deal with such proposals requiring more work.

And do not forget about the program just because you cannot meet the Dec. 15 contest deadline.

If your idea is good, after all, you may get more than $10,000 out of it. You may have the satisfaction of having saved some lives.

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