fentanyl

John Minchillo / Associated Press

Franklin County saw a small dip in overdose deaths in the first quarter of 2018, according to data released by the Franklin County Coroner's Office on Friday.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

A measure to crackdown on the shipment of opioids from China is moving its way through Congress. That's according to Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman who touts this provision as a key tool in the fight against the drug epidemic.

John Minchillo / Associated Press

Jordan, a college student in Central Ohio, is a lot like many of his classmates. He does well in school, has a part-time internship, a solid group of friends – and also uses cocaine.

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.

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.  

New research finds that fentanyl is far more common than heroin in overdose deaths in Indianapolis and that blacks are particularly affected.

In 2017, nearly half of the people who died from an overdose in Marion County, where Indianapolis is located, had fentanyl in their system. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

Updated March 9, 2018 at 4:55 p.m.

Nine of 12 individuals charged in U.S. District Court in Ohio in a narcotics and money laundering scheme are in custody following a year-long FBI investigation. More than 40 others are charged in San Diego, Columbus, Lexington, Kansas and Washington in a case with ties to the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel.

The current drug addiction crisis began in rural America, but it's quickly spreading to urban areas and into the African-American population in cities across the country.

"It's a frightening time," says Dr. Edwin Chapman, who specializes in drug addiction in Washington, D.C., "because the urban African-American community is dying now at a faster rate than the epidemic in the suburbs and rural areas."

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