opioid epidemic

Over the last two decades, about 2 million people in the U.S. became addicted to opioids after being prescribed pain killers following an injury or illness. The National Institute on Drug Abuse and other studies say an increased emphasis on pain-management two decades ago contributed to an increased reliance on prescribing opioids.

In the last seven years, the number of children taken into custody by children services agencies in Ohio soared by nearly 20%, and half of those cases involve parental drug use. And the agencies charged with caring for those kids say Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget doesn’t do enough to help them

André-Pierre du Plessis/Flickr

When the opioid carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer, surfaced in Ohio last summer, it caused a public health emergency. Ohio now suffers more fatal drug overdoses from synthetic opioids than any other state in the country.

It seems carfentanil slipped through a crack in the system: a loophole in the Postal Service.

Adam / Wikipedia

Leaders at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center says they’re trying to make it easier for doctors and nurses to comply with a law meant to curb doctor shopping and painkiller abuse. 

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Franklin County officials report they have discovered pills sold on the streets that were marked as oxycodone were actually counterfeit and contain fentanyl instead. 

As the toll of the opioid epidemic grows, scores of doctors have lost their licenses and some have gone to prison. Pharmacies are being sued and shuttered. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are under investigation and face new rules from regulators.

But penalties against companies that serve as middlemen between drug companies and pharmacies have been relatively scarce — until recently.

opioids and prescription medicine bottle
Flickr

As the number of opioid-related deaths in Ohio remains high, the number of prescriptions dropped for the fourth straight year.  

WOSU Archive

Gov. John Kasich has been warning for months now that tax revenues coming into the state are below expectations and that the upcoming two-year state budget will be tighter than in the past. His recent speeches have taken on a new theme.

Charlie Oen's battle with addiction started when he was 16 and his family moved to Lima, Ohio. It was the last stop in a string of moves his military family made — from Panama to North Carolina, Kentucky, Texas and Germany.

"I went toward a bad group because those were the people that accepted me," he says. Drugs became a substitute for real friendships.

Debbie Holmes

A new Franklin County Sheriff will take over on January 2: Dallas Baldwin, a retired Lieutenant with the Columbus Police Department.

The Kaiser Family Foundation says that in 2014, Ohio had the highest number of deaths from opiate overdoses in the U.S.

A prominent Republican Northeast Ohio state representative has joined a Democratic effort to push Gov. John Kasich to declare a statewide opioid emergency.

Ron Amstutz of Wooster and two other Republican lawmakers have signed on to House Resolution 510. It would allow use of the state’s rainy-day fund to pay for opioid intervention programs. Amstutz was not available for comment.

e-Magine Art / Flickr

Mothers addicted to alcohol and drugs respond better to treatment when their children also take part in their recovery, according to a new study from The Ohio State University.   

Wikipedia / WOSU

Dentists from across Ohio will attend a symposium tonight in Toledo on the use of opioid medication in the dental field - another step in fighting the epidemic of opiate abuse and overdoses in the region.

Flickr / Creative Commons

As communities throughout Ohio try get control of a raging heroin epidemic, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown announced legislation, Monday morning, he said would expand addiction services.

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