drug overdoses

Sen. Sherrod Brown is introducing a bill tomorrow to provide funding for devices that detect fentanyl.

The POWER Act would provide funds for portable chemical screening devices, such as those being used by Customs and Border Protection agents. Sen. Brown says they’re needed because local law enforcement officers need to be able to test drugs in the field to ensure they’re not in danger of an accidental overdose, such as the one that happened last year to an officer in Columbiana County.

It was a scheduling mishap that led Kourtnaye Sturgeon to help save someone’s life. About four months ago, Sturgeon drove to downtown Indianapolis for a meeting. She was a week early.

“I wasn’t supposed to be there,” she said.


The U.S. Surgeon General has issued an advisory, encouraging more Americans to carry the overdose reversing drug naloxone.

It comes in the form of an injection or a nasal spray, known as Narcan, and is regularly carried by firefighters, EMTs and police officers, but the antidote is also becoming more and more common in Ohio schools.

In Lisbon, Education is More Than English and Math

Students at David Anderson Junior and Senior High School in Lisbon, Ohio, file into the auditorium on a Thursday morning.

John Minchillo / Associated Press

This story comes from The Ohio Center For Investigative Journalism. Find out about local events focused on solutions to the opioid crisis below.

The most dangerous time for Cincinnati heroin addicts is not a typical party time: 3 p.m. on Wednesdays. For Columbus, it’s 6 p.m. on Thursdays, and in Akron, 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. 

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

The Franklin County Coroner's office released preliminary numbers on overdose deaths in 2017 in the county. Last year, 520 people died from drug overdoses, up 47 percent from the year before. 

A pipe was the only sign of drug use found near Chris Bennett's body in November. But it looked like the 32-year-old Taunton, Mass., native had stopped breathing and died of an opioid overdose. Bennett's mother, Liisa, couldn't understand what happened. Then she saw the toxicology report.

"I'm convinced he was smoking cocaine that was laced," she says. "That's what he had in his system, [it] was cocaine and fentanyl."

Naloxone is an antidote that can help reverse drug overdoses.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

The Franklin County Coroner's Office has recorded a "dramatic increase" in overdose deaths, a total of 18 in one week.  

During his final State of the State address, Gov. John Kasich said Ohio is the strongest it’s been in a generation. But a coalition of unions and health and human services organizations say they think they have the data to prove that’s not true.

There's more bad news about the nation's devastating opioid epidemic.

In just one year, overdoses from opioids jumped by about 30 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Adam / Wikipedia

Ohioans are being prescribed fewer opioids.

Even though about 11 Ohioans continue dying from drug overdoses every day, new data from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy say for the fifth year in a row, the number of prescription painkillers dispensed in the state fell in 2017.

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