drug overdoses

It has the power to save lives by targeting opioid overdoses — something that kills more than 140 Americans every day. And now Narcan, the nasal spray that can pull a drug user back from an overdose, is being carried by all of Walgreens' more than 8,000 pharmacies.

Akron’s Quick Response Team has become the first in Summit County to offer residents naloxone kits and training on how to use them to counter the effects of an opioid overdose.

Joseph Natko, the district chief of the Akron Fire Department, says the effort is part of a follow-up strategy with people who recently overdosed.

National Crime Agency / Flickr

Opioid-related deaths have been a primary concern among state officials for years, but the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio has spotted a recent rise in the number of deaths related to Methamphetamine and cocaine. 

Seth Herald / Side Effects Public Media

Officer Ron Meyers drives down a dirt road in rural Ross County. As he passes each home, he slows down and squints, searching for an address. Out here the house numbers are written on the front of homes in marker, or in faded numbers clinging to old mailboxes. There’s no GPS.  

data charts
Ann Thompson / WXVU

The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition will use a quarter of a new $400,000 federal grant to predict who might be the next overdose victim and get them into treatment before it happens.

With the country in the throes of an epidemic, communities across the nation are being forced to confront the harrowing, and often fatal, effects of opioid abuse. But solutions — such as creating intervention programs in Ohio, providing access to treatment in Alabama, or investing in prevention initiatives in Missouri — cost money.

Flickr

The Franklin County Coroner’s office says overdose deaths blamed largely on opioids continue to spike compared to a year ago.

Ohio’s overdose deaths increased by a third last year to 4,050, meaning that on average, 11 Ohioans are dying each day from overdoses. According to the numbers released today by the Ohio Department of Health, more than half of those deaths involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

The maker of Narcan is making a research grant to Hamilton County that will provide nearly $2 million worth of the overdose antidote to combat the local heroin crisis.

On a cold morning last winter, Christopher Hinds says he woke up early, sick from withdrawal. He called a friend and they trekked across a highway, walking for more than two miles through the snow on a street without sidewalks to buy heroin. 

“You don’t think about nothing but getting it when you’re sick like that,” he says. 

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