drug overdoses

Fatal Drug Overdoses In Ohio Increase To Record Number

Sep 24, 2018
fentanyl
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Fatal drug overdoses increased to a record 4,854 last year in Ohio, a 20 percent rise compared with the previous year, according to information reported to the state.

Franklin County Reports 18 Fatal Overdoses In A Week

Sep 6, 2018
fentanyl
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

The coroner for the county that includes Ohio's capital city is warning of a spike in overdose deaths and encouraging friends and family members of addicts to obtain an overdose antidote.

Neil Conway / Flickr

This week, nearly 30 people were exposed to a fentanyl-heroin mixture at a Chillicothe prison. The incident lead to two dozen prison guards, nurses and an inmate being hospitalized. But the incident at Ross Correctional Institute did not stand alone.

A top Justice Department official is putting cities considering medically-supervised drug injection facilities on notice: If you open one, prepare for swift and aggressive legal action.

With record numbers of fatal overdoses, several cities are working on plans to launch facilities where people can inject illegal drugs with staff on hand to help them if they overdose. Now, however, the Trump administration is vowing a major crackdown.

fentanyl
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

A substance that led to nearly 30 people at an Ohio prison being treated for drug exposure or suspected exposure was a mixture of heroin and fentanyl, the State Highway Patrol said.

Neil Conway / Flickr

More than two dozen people have been treated for possible drug exposure at the Ross Correctional Institution in Chillicothe. Medical officials say the health scare was likely caused by some combination of opioids, and all of those sickened are expected to recover.

Flickr

Seven counties across Ohio are seeing a spike in recent drug-related emergency room visits and overdoses this summer, and officials say the incidents are connected.

Cuyahoga Falls resident Brenda Ryan looks at a picture of her daughter, Sheena Moore, who died of a drug overdose back in 2016.
Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill into law that increases penalties for drug trafficking and some other drug offenses when the drug involved is a fentanyl-related compound.

Alexandria Santa Barbara is a 39-year-old mother of three from a working-class suburb of Philadelphia.

The addiction story for Santa Barbara, who goes by the name Alexis, follows a familiar course: She had been prescribed Percocet years ago to treat back pain. When the drug became unavailable, she turned to heroin. And she became hooked — not long after getting laid off from her job at a local deli.

Across the street from her, her neighbor, identified just as "J.M." in court papers, was also in the grip of an opioid addiction.

Sen. Sherrod Brown is introducing a bill tomorrow to provide funding for devices that detect fentanyl.

The POWER Act would provide funds for portable chemical screening devices, such as those being used by Customs and Border Protection agents. Sen. Brown says they’re needed because local law enforcement officers need to be able to test drugs in the field to ensure they’re not in danger of an accidental overdose, such as the one that happened last year to an officer in Columbiana County.

It was a scheduling mishap that led Kourtnaye Sturgeon to help save someone’s life. About four months ago, Sturgeon drove to downtown Indianapolis for a meeting. She was a week early.

“I wasn’t supposed to be there,” she said.


The U.S. Surgeon General has issued an advisory, encouraging more Americans to carry the overdose reversing drug naloxone.

It comes in the form of an injection or a nasal spray, known as Narcan, and is regularly carried by firefighters, EMTs and police officers, but the antidote is also becoming more and more common in Ohio schools.

In Lisbon, Education is More Than English and Math

Students at David Anderson Junior and Senior High School in Lisbon, Ohio, file into the auditorium on a Thursday morning.

John Minchillo / Associated Press

This story comes from The Ohio Center For Investigative Journalism. Find out about local events focused on solutions to the opioid crisis below.

The most dangerous time for Cincinnati heroin addicts is not a typical party time: 3 p.m. on Wednesdays. For Columbus, it’s 6 p.m. on Thursdays, and in Akron, 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. 

fentanyl
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

The Franklin County Coroner's office released preliminary numbers on overdose deaths in 2017 in the county. Last year, 520 people died from drug overdoses, up 47 percent from the year before. 

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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