opioid epidemic

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.

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 / AP

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.

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.

Updated on March 2 at 10:47 a.m. ET

The White House convened a summit on the opioid epidemic Thursday, where first lady Melania Trump said she is proud of the what the administration has already accomplished on the issue, but that "we all know there is much work still to be done."

Although he had not been expected to participate, President Trump briefly joined the event.