opioid epidemic

John Minchillo / Associated Press

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has met with two of the five opioid manufacturers the state is suing to try to come up with a settlement.  

While drug-related deaths continue to rise throughout Indiana, one county saw a decrease in drug fatalities in 2017.


Ohio House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

State lawmakers are returning to Columbus from their holiday break. The vastly outnumbered Democrats in the House have a list of goals they want to achieve. They have a game plan for getting Republican support.

ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

An Ohio lawmaker wants the state to take tougher action when an ex-convict on parole fails a random drug test. The proposal is meant to act as an intervention for addicts.

On a recent morning in downtown Tippecanoe County Indiana, a standing-room-only crowd showed up for a county commissioners meeting. The issue at hand? Renewing the county’s syringe exchange program.


Samantha Horton / Side Effects Public Media

Doctors move fast in the ER. Every second counts. That’s why Dr. Gina Huhnke is excited about a new way to quickly check her patients’ history with narcotics. She’s the emergency department director of Deaconess Midtown Hospital in Evansville.

Pixabay

Ohio is expanding Medicaid coverage for acupuncture. Last fall, it began approving payment for the non-drug pain treatment if it was provided by medical doctors. But thousands more practitioners will be included in the New Year.

As the opioid crisis continued to plague communities across the country, this year. several states have joined a handful of others in declaring opioid emergencies. President Trump recently labeled the crisis a national public "health emergency." That drew attention to the issue, but did not come with any new funding.

Ross County Family Services case work Lori Myers
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

On the same day that the federal government released stats showing Ohio has the second-highest opioid death rate in the nation, the state’s children services’ agencies are saying their system is straining under the pressure of the deadly crisis.

Life expectancy in the U.S. fell for the second year in a row in 2016, nudged down again by a surge in fatal opioid overdoses, federal officials report Thursday.

"I'm not prone to dramatic statements," says Robert Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the National Center for Health Statistics. "But I think we should be really alarmed. The drug overdose problem is a public health problem, and it needs to be addressed. We need to get a handle on it."

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