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cocaine

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A new report from a group of Ohio researchers documents an explosion in the number of overdose deaths involving methamphetamines and amphetamines.

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

Jordan, a college student in Central Ohio, is a lot like many of his classmates. He does well in school, has a part-time internship, a solid group of friends – and also uses cocaine.

A pipe was the only sign of drug use found near Chris Bennett's body in November. But it looked like the 32-year-old Taunton, Mass., native had stopped breathing and died of an opioid overdose. Bennett's mother, Liisa, couldn't understand what happened. Then she saw the toxicology report.

"I'm convinced he was smoking cocaine that was laced," she says. "That's what he had in his system, [it] was cocaine and fentanyl."

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Opioid-related deaths have been a primary concern among state officials for years, but the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio has spotted a recent rise in the number of deaths related to Methamphetamine and cocaine. 

New limits on prescription painkillers took effect yesterday. And the state says prescription opioid deaths are down from a peak in 2011, and the number of heroin deaths last year was the same as in 2015. But now, deaths from illicit drugs such as cocaine and meth have spiked. 

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Ohio lawmakers are moving quickly to override a state Supreme Court ruling that prosecutors fear could delay and shorten sentences for suspects caught with cocaine.

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Four Central Ohioans have been indicted for drug trafficking.  They face charges in a case that started with a police stop earlier this month.