opioid epidemic

Naloxone is an antidote that can help reverse drug overdoses.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

The Franklin County Coroner's Office has recorded a "dramatic increase" in overdose deaths, a total of 18 in one week.  

Velva Poole has spent about 20 years as a social worker, mostly in Louisville, Ky. She's seen people ravaged by methamphetamines and cocaine; now it's mostly opioids. Most of her clients are parents who have lost custody of their children because of drug use. Poole remembers one mom in particular.

"She had her kids removed the first time for cocaine. And then she had actually gotten them back," she says. But three months later, the mother relapsed and overdosed on heroin.

Associated Press

As the primary comes closer, the four Democratic men who would like to be Ohio’s next governor are talking up their ideas to battle the state’s opioid crisis. The options range from using Ohio’s rainy-day fund to medical marijuana.

New research finds that fentanyl is far more common than heroin in overdose deaths in Indianapolis and that blacks are particularly affected.

In 2017, nearly half of the people who died from an overdose in Marion County, where Indianapolis is located, had fentanyl in their system. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

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. 


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.

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