addiction treatment

Safe Point is Central Ohio's only needle exchange program.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Drug overdose deaths in Ohio have been climbing in 2020, and a new study offers recommendations on how government funding could help reduce the numbers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Marijuana plants
Jim Mone / AP

The Ohio Senate has passed what supporters call a critical bill to address criminal justice reform and overcrowded prisons. The legislation lowers the penalty for many drug possession charges from felonies to misdemeanors.

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

The isolation and stress brought on by COVID-19 have been particularly difficult for people fighting drug addiction. When Ohio shut down in March, nonprofits that offer services to people with substance use issues had to change the way they operate to keep the virus at bay.

Safe Point is Central Ohio's only needle exchange program.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Christopher has been struggling with addiction since he was 14. He uses heroin, and he says things have been hard since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Vinton County, Ohio, has been on the front lines of the opioid crisis in the U.S. for several years. The drugs may have changed over the years — from opioids to meth — but the devastating effects on families have not. And even though the county hasn't had high infection rates of the coronavirus, the necessary social restrictions have made it harder to keep people addicted to drugs and their children safe.

Dayton and Columbus are both reporting spikes in overdose deaths. Some experts say it's at least in part because of pandemic-related stress. Ann Stevens with Montgomery County Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services says there's been a 58% increase in fatal OD's compared to a year ago.

Barriers To Addiction Treatment

Mar 4, 2020
OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vermont.
Toby Talbot / AP

People struggling with opioid addiction are not monolithic - they come to their addiction from many different places.

Cuyahoga County Council took a deeper look Monday into the $23 million plan to fund drug treatment, a new drug court, a jail diversion center and other with the first wave of money paid out by drug companies to settle lawsuits over the opioid crisis.

The RREACT cars are part of a program to provide overdose victims with treatment.
Columbus City Council

Columbus City Council on Monday night approved $371,523 in federal money to help fund a second Rapid Response Emergency Addiction Crisis Team in Franklin County. 

Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Tammy’s struggle with substance use started with pain pills she found in her grandmother’s cabinet. Then it escalated to heroin.

Communities across the Midwest have been devastated by the opioid epidemic. But there's still a lot of misunderstanding about how opioids affect our bodies. A new and unusual museum exhibit is tackling this issue. 

Ohio Statehouse cupola
Shih-Pei Chang / Flickr

The deadline has passed for communities throughout the state to submit their requests for Ohio’s capital budget, which is expected sometime near the end of March, when Gov. Mike DeWine will deliver his State of the State speech.

Preliminary results show the Hamilton County Quick Response Teams (QRTs) have tried to reach nearly 800 people with drug addictions since the program started in April 2018.

Columbus' Easton Town Center is fully decorated for the holiday season.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Central Ohio Alcoholics Anonymous will be holding a non-stop meeting through the end of 2019. It's part of a larger "Alkathon," a continuous drop-in meeting that kicked off on Christmas Eve. 

Donna McMullen holds a photo of her daughter, Jessica, who died in September.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

“That’s my mommy, look!” Three-year old Adalynn McMullen points a little dimpled finger at a collage of photos on a trifold board.

The photos show her mom, Jessica McMullen, over the years – from when she was in diapers to just a few years ago, holding Adalynn on her lap.

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