opioid epidemic

Drugmakers gave millions of dollars to pain-treatment advocacy groups over a five-year period beginning in 2012, in effect promoting opioids to individuals most vulnerable to addiction, according to a new report released Monday by a U.S. senator.

Across the country, states desperate to prevent opioid addiction are considering medical cannabis as a solution.

Citing the opioid crisis, lawmakers in several states are looking to initiate or expand their medical marijuana programs including KentuckyNew YorkNew Jersey and Indiana. And in Illinois, where opioids have claimed nearly 11,000 lives over the past decade, the legislature is considering a measure that would allow patients with an opioid prescription to get access to marijuana instead.


Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

Republican state lawmakers are hoping to help send a particular group of at-risk kids to college – those whose parents are addicted to opioids and other drugs. They'd do it with a program that they hope to create with legislation being introduced soon.

More than three months after President Trump declared the nation's opioid crisis a public health emergency, activists and health care providers say they're still waiting for some other action.

The Trump administration quietly renewed the declaration recently. But it has given no signs it's developing a comprehensive strategy to address an epidemic that claims more than 115 lives every day. The president now says that to combat opioids, he's focused on enforcement, not treatment.

In leggings and a long black hoodie, Ray walked idly up and down Sullivant Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. A block away, an elementary school had let out for the day and students walked home. For Ray, work had just started.

University of Dayton

There's an old adage: The first step to change is knowing you have a problem. Kelly Cushion, a software design engineer at University of Dayton's Research Institute, decided to take it one step further. 

She wants to change the brain chemistry of people addicted to opioids to help them see they have a problem.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

At an Associated Press political forum on Thursday, Gov. John Kasich covered a lot of ground, talking about jobs, the economy, the opioid crisis and his future plans. For now, he says he’s willing to step in to help Republican lawmakers and citizens’ groups work out a deal on Ohio’s Congressional map-drawing process.

There is growing evidence that opioids quickly change the brain, making it more likely for users to get hooked and struggle to recover. 

This spring, researchers at the University of Dayton Research Institute will experiment with a new program designed to help opioid addicts retrain their brains, breaking the addiction cycle with neurofeedback therapy.

State of Ohio / Governor's office

Yong Pei, a computer science professor at Wright State University in Dayton, had an idea for a technology-based alternative to painkillers: glasses that use augmented reality, where computer-generated information based on real world sounds, smells and other signals enhances what a person senses.

Updated 6 p.m. ET

Williamson, W.Va., sits right across the Tug Fork river from Kentucky. The town has sites dedicated to its coal mining heritage and the Hatfield and McCoy feud and counts just about 3,000 residents.

With the opioid crisis continuing to ravage Ohio, the state issued a $10,000 challenge. Tuesday, five winners were announced, including Cincinnati's Kinematechs and a University of Dayton researcher.

Walmart is the latest national company joining in the fight to try to help curb America's harrowing opioid epidemic, which now kills more people than breast cancer.

Accidental deaths in the United States rose significantly in 2016, becoming the third-leading cause of fatalities for the first time in more than a century – a trend fueled by the steep rise in opioid overdoses, the National Safety Council reports.

Accidents — defined by the council as unintentional, preventable injuries — claimed a record 161,374 lives in 2016, a 10 percent increase over 2015. They include motor vehicle crashes, falls, drowning, choking and poisoning, a category that encompasses accidental overdoses.

John Minchillo / Associated Press

Tuesday kicks off the Ideas for Advocacy Conference, which focuses on Ohio's opioid epidemic. The conference is hosted by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center's Harding Hospital.

What's At Stake In The Opioid Lawsuits

Jan 12, 2018

Attorneys for drug companies and local governments from around the country are set to meet in Cleveland for what a federal judge is calling “preliminary settlement discussions” in lawsuits over the opioid crisis.

Judge Dan Aaron Polster has scheduled a pretrial conference Jan. 31. In a recent court filing, he wrote that he’s also invited state attorneys general to attend.

At issue are suits against drug makers and distributors brought by cities and counties from Wisconsin to West Virginia to Ohio.

Southern Ohio An Early Bellwether

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