opioid crisis

Richard Cordray
Steve Helber / Associated Press

Appearing with Mayor Andrew Ginther in Columbus on Monday, Richard Cordray announced his plan to combat the opioid epidemic in Ohio.

Clare Roth / WOSU

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said he’s encouraged by the approach of Ohio State University researchers in tackling the opioid crisis.

In a refrigerator in the coroner’s office in Marion County, Indiana, rows of vials await testing. They contain blood, urine and vitreous, the fluid collected from inside a human eye. In overdose cases, the fluids may contain clues for investigators. 


The Death Penalty For Drug Traffickers

Mar 21, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

President Trump has announced harsher penalties for drug trafficking offenses, including the death penalty. The penalties are part of a larger proposal laid out by the White House to combat the opioid epidemic. The proposal also includes funding for education about substance abuse and expansion of access to treatment.

We'll look at what the proposal contains, the impact it will have on the opioid crisis, and appropriate punishment for drug traffickers. 

Pablo Martinez / Associated Press

President Trump laid out a plan for combating the opioid epidemic during a speech Monday in New Hampshire, and one of his proposals would make it easier for local treatment facilities to provide beds for inpatient addiction care.

President Trump outlined a wide-ranging plan to combat the opioid epidemic on Monday, including an ad campaign to discourage drug use, expand addiction treatment and pursue a get-tough approach to law enforcement.

"Whether you are a dealer or doctor or trafficker or a manufacturer, if you break the law and illegally peddle these deadly poisons, we will find you, we will arrest you, and we will hold you accountable," Trump told an audience in Manchester, N.H.

"Failure is not an option," he added. "Addiction is not our future."

The largest business group in the state has put together a free online toolkit for any employer who’s dealing with opioid problems in the workplace – showing just how serious the epidemic is to businesses in Ohio.

How Many Opioid Overdoses Are Suicides?

Mar 15, 2018

Mady Ohlman was 22 on the evening some years ago when she stood in a friend's bathroom looking down at the sink.

"I had set up a bunch of needles filled with heroin because I wanted to just do them back-to-back-to-back," Ohlman recalls. She doesn't remember how many she injected before collapsing, or how long she lay drugged-out on the floor.

"But I remember being pissed because I could still get up, you know?"

She wanted to be dead, she says, glancing down. A wisp of straight brown hair slips from behind an ear across her thin face.

Weekly Reporter Roundtable

Mar 12, 2018
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Last week, the Democratic gubernatorial candidates took to the stage for their first debate of 2018. The candidates laid out their views on several policy issues, such as Medicaid, fracking, and gun control. The debate also had the candidates trading some heated words over some of these issues. 

We'll also look at the opioid crisis, sexual harassment in the Statehouse, and more with our panel of reporters. 

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."

An analysis released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides further links between syringe services programs and preventing HIV. 


Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks during the Ohio State of the State address in the Fritsche Theater at Otterbein University in Westerville, Tuesday, March 6, 2018.
Paul Vernon / Associated Press

Gov. John Kasich gave his final State of the State speech Tuesday night, at Otterbein University in his hometown of Westerville. He didn’t unveil any new programs but he did talk about values.

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.

A few years ago, Renea Molden's doctors told her they wanted to take her off her opioid pills.

"I was mad, I'll be honest. I was mad. I was frustrated," she says.

Molden, of Kansas City, Mo., is 40 and struggles with chronic pain because of fibromyalgia, bulging disks and degenerative disk disease. Her doctors told her they worried about the possibility of her taking hydrocodone for the rest of her life. She told them those three pills she took every day seemed to be the only way she could make it through work, going shopping or even fixing dinner.

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