opioid crisis

The new BCI drug testing lab in Springfield, Ohio.
Jess Mador / WYSO

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, along with officials from Clark County and the city of Springfield, unveiled a new Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab in downtown Springfield on Tuesday.

Ideastream

Both of Ohio’s U.S. Senators have introduced a bipartisan bill they say will help combat the opioid abuse problems in the Buckeye State.

Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) introduces plan to pull $200 million from the Ohio Rainy Day Fund to fight opioid addiction.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Democratic senators believe Ohio has reached a critical point in the opioid epidemic and needs to turn to extreme measures in order to tackle the problem.

In March, President Trump called opioid abuse in the U.S. "a total epidemic," and issued an executive order creating a commission focused on combating the opioid crisis.

There’s a new drug on the streets in three states, including Ohio. And the state’s top law enforcement official says it is already causing overdoses. 

Healthcare Costs / Flickr Creative Commons

Ohio health care advocates are reacting to Thursday's passage of a GOP health bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill is far from becoming reality. But, if passed into law, the “American Health Care Act” would make a long list of changes to the country’s health-care system.

Mount Carmel West

Charlie Stewart is tall, 25 years old, and broad shouldered. He’s wearing a grey polo-shirt and slacks, and starts each morning with a protein shake.

Every Tuesday you can find him walking the narrow linoleum halls of the emergency department at Mount Carmel West.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has proposed hiring its own prosecutor corps to bring cases related to drug trafficking, money laundering and asset forfeiture — a move that advocacy groups warn could exceed the DEA's legal authority and reinvigorate the 1980s-era war on drugs.

File Photo

Ohio’s opioid crisis has been tearing through the state causing one tragedy after another. For months, Democrats have been calling on Gov. John Kasich to release rainy day funds to aid in the fight. One Republican who wants to replace him was asked at a broadcasters' gathering to weigh in on that.

Nearly 1.5 million Americans were treated for addiction to prescription opioids or heroin in 2015, according to federal estimates, and when those people get seriously hurt or need surgery, it's often not clear, even to many doctors, how to safely manage their pain. For some former addicts, what begins as pain relief ends in tragedy.

prescription drugs and money
StockMonkeys.com

A program announced last month to help children hurt by their parents' addictions is already expanding in Ohio.

The trouble started for Lisa when she took a blood pressure pill and one to control seizures, along with methadone, a drug used to help wean patients off heroin.

"I inadvertently did the methadone cocktail and I went to sleep for like 48 hours," Lisa says, rolling her eyes and coughing out a laugh. "It kicked my butt. It really kicked my butt."

Teresa Long (left), Columbus Health Commissioner, at the Columbus Metropolitan Club forum on opioid abuse.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Some of the biggest players in the fight against Ohio’s opioid abuse told business leaders that the epidemic might be closer than they think and warned them to be prepared.

The opioid epidemic has intensified the call for alternatives to narcotics for people with acute and chronic pain.

In last week’s State of the State, Ohio Governor John Kasich said he wants to put more money toward finding other options. He recommended devoting $20 million to help Ohio researchers develop new technologies to fight pain.

Kali Gibbons sets out canvases and bright acrylic paints in the lunchroom at the Stella Maris recovery center on Monday afternoons. About a dozen men filter in, take a seat and grab a brush to paint.

“Knowing that art is something that can help others recover and it’s something that I can give to others, that’s why I do it,” she said.

Gibbons teaches art to school children four days a week. Monday is technically her day off, but she spends part of it at the Cleveland rehab center working with men battling addiction.

Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni gives the Democratic response to the 2017 State of the State address.
JO INGLES / Ohio Public Radio

Gov. John Kasich’s speech was getting praise from his Republican colleagues in the legislature. But Democrats are not on board. 

Gov. John Kasich delivers the State of the State speech in Sandusky on April 4, 2017.
DANIEL KONIK / Ohio Public Radio

Budget, taxes, education, drugs - Gov. John Kasich covered a lot of ground in his State of the State speech in Sandusky. 

Faced with a huge and deadly opioid crisis that’s killing eight people a day in Ohio, Kasich proposed some new money toward the battle – from the state fund best known for backing high-tech ideas.

Weekly Reporter Roundtable

Apr 3, 2017
Ohio Statehouse in Columbus
Alexander Smith / Wikimedia Commons

GOP Ohio lawmakers are working to pass legislation that will help curb the opiate epidemic in the state. Ohio had the most opioid-related overdose deaths in the country in 2014, with prescription opioids accounting for 22 percent of those deaths. The bill will prevent doctors from over-prescribing opiates and will require state officials to make available online patient education and counseling resources. Today we'll discuss this and the latest in state and national news with a panel of reporters. 

Guests:

PEXELS

A new annual report on poverty indicates nearly 15 percent of Ohioans lived at or below the federal poverty line in 2015, down from 16.4 percent in 2011.

J.D. Vance/Facebook

After chronicling his experience growing up in small-town Ohio, and becoming an election-year point of discussion, author J.D. Vance is moving home. Or at least to Columbus.

Flickr

A new study on calls to poison control centers, conducted in part by Nationwide Children's Center, found surprising information about kids' and teens' ingestion of opioids.

Washington Court House Police

While many Ohio municipalities are working to decriminalize opioid addiction, the city of Washington Court House in Fayette County has a different - and more dramatic - approach.

Adora Namigadde

In her quiet country home in Wilmington, Stephanie Kirkpatrick’s goal is just to keep out of trouble.

Prescribed narcotic painkillers continue to fuel a nationwide opioid epidemic—nearly half of fatal overdoses in the United States involve opioids prescribed by a doctor.

Ohio is extending a program that allows public agencies to get rebates on the opioid overdose antidote naloxone.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals gives the rebates for its version of the drug. It will continue to issue $6 rebates for every syringe sold.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says extending the rebate was necessary because of the rise of cheaper, more potent opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil.


A generation ago, the battle to teach kids about drug abuse used scare tactics and the “Just Say No” campaign. In this installment of our series, Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis, WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports that experts are now recommending a concentration on social and emotional learning, as well as peer-to-peer programs – some of which are already in-place in Northeast Ohio schools.

Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

Columbus Police say more officers will carry a drug overdose antidote after dozens of heroin users were revived with it during a pilot program.

Flickr

Ohio's governor has proposed allowing counties to create committees that would review overdose fatalities, and the public would have limited access to the findings.

The drug is so strong and deadly, it's been researched as a chemical weapon of warfare; police officers are warned to handle it with extreme care. The opioid carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine — but until now, it hasn't been a controlled substance in China, where producers have been exporting it abroad.

More people died in Ohio from an opioid overdose than any other state in the country in 2014, according to the latest national numbers from the Kaiser Family Foundation. It’s a dilemma law enforcement, faith groups and other community leaders are all trying to get a grip on. They’re hoping sharing as many ideas as possible can be the first step in winning the fight against this epidemic.

Pages