addiction treatment

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

Gov. John Kasich has named a new director for the state agency that oversees mental health services, after the agency’s leader stepped down last week.

John Minchillo / Associated Press

It was a busy holiday for Ohio groups behind two new constitutional amendments headed to ballots in the fall. Both proposals got thousands of petition signatures, but they still have their critics.

John Minchillo / Associated Press

While many Ohioans are enjoying picnics, parades and fireworks, community activists are hustling to meet the July 4 deadline for getting their ballot issue in front of voters.

DAN KONIK / Statehouse News Bureau

The Ohio House has followed the Senate's lead in overwhelmingly approving a measure meant to lower the state’s prison population and send non-violent offenders to treatment programs instead.

Ohio is among one of the hardest hit states by the opioid crisis. Yet, for five years in a row, Ohio along with every state in the U.S. has seen a continuous drop in opioid prescriptions.  Still the number of people who die from opioid overdoses continues to climb. This is all part of a national trend captured in a recent report from the American Medical Association.

More than 115 Americans are dying every day from an opioid overdose. But a study out Monday finds that just three in 10 patients revived by an EMT or in an emergency room received the follow-up medication known to avoid another life-threatening event.

Jenn Glaser lay in bed with a severe pain in her right hip. In the last few days a large abscess had developed under her skin--an infection from injecting drugs. 

Forty-year-old local resident Mike, checked his cell phone recently, just outside the main entrance to St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, while waiting for an Uber car to pull up.

“Hi I’m Michael,” he said as he greeted the Uber driver before jumping into the back seat of the dark grey sedan.

To the untrained, the evidence looks promising for a new medical device to ease opioid withdrawal. A small study shows that people feel better when the device, an electronic nerve stimulator called the Bridge, is placed behind their ear.

The company that markets the Bridge is using the study results to promote its use to anyone who will listen: policymakers, criminal justice officials and health care providers.

The message is working.

Velva Poole has spent about 20 years as a social worker, mostly in Louisville, Ky. She's seen people ravaged by methamphetamines and cocaine; now it's mostly opioids. Most of her clients are parents who have lost custody of their children because of drug use. Poole remembers one mom in particular.

"She had her kids removed the first time for cocaine. And then she had actually gotten them back," she says. But three months later, the mother relapsed and overdosed on heroin.

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