Heroin | WOSU Radio

Heroin

In the 25 years since she snorted her first line of methamphetamine at a club in San Francisco, Kim has redefined "normal" many times. At first, she says, it seemed like meth brought her back to her true self — the person she was before her parents divorced, and before her stepfather moved in.

"I felt normal when I first did it, like, 'Oh! There I am,' " she says.

A jug of used needles to exchange in Camden, N.J., on Oct. 29, 2015.
Mel Evans / Associated Press

Heroin users in Ohio can have a harder time getting treatment when on Medicaid, a new study found.

A jug of used needles to exchange in Camden, N.J., on Oct. 29, 2015.
Mel Evans / Associated Press

A new report by The Center for Community Solutions shows that programs that get used syringes off the streets in Ohio have more than doubled in the last three years.

Fentanyl is now the drug most frequently involved in overdose deaths in the U.S., according to a National Vital Statistics System report published Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report sheds a bright light on the changing nature of America's drug landscape — and the devastating number of overdose deaths that have occurred in the U.S. in recent years.

Is America Ready For Prescription Heroin?

Dec 6, 2018

The U.S. drug crisis does not appear to be letting up. The nation experienced a shattering 47,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017.

Driving the surge are potent, cheap synthetics like fentanyl that have spread into the illicit drug supply. In response, communities have been trying a range of interventions, from increasing the availability of the antidote naloxone to upping treatment resources.

Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Susan Perez walks down Scott Street in Franklinton with a baby on her hip and two toddlers following close behind.

“It's a drug house right now,” she says gesturing at a boarded up house a few doors down from hers.

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.

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.

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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.

State health officials this week applied for federal funding to support needle exchange programs in Ohio.

That would provide a lifeline for the Canton Health Department’s SWAP program, which marked its first anniversary in June.

Director of nursing Diane Thompson says the needle exchange program has exceeded its goals, but its first year funding has dried up.

Our Take A Number series is looking at problems around the world — and people trying to solve them — through the lens of a single number.

In Huntington, W.Va., the number is 10. As in, the rate of babies born with a drug dependency there is 10 times the national average.

It's a number that shows the magnitude of the opioid crisis in this blue collar city. It's also one of the numbers that has prompted two very different people in this community to say, "Enough."

Updated March 9, 2018 at 4:55 p.m.

Nine of 12 individuals charged in U.S. District Court in Ohio in a narcotics and money laundering scheme are in custody following a year-long FBI investigation. More than 40 others are charged in San Diego, Columbus, Lexington, Kansas and Washington in a case with ties to the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel.

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Ann Thompson / WXVU

The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition will use a quarter of a new $400,000 federal grant to predict who might be the next overdose victim and get them into treatment before it happens.

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The Franklin County Coroner’s office says overdose deaths blamed largely on opioids continue to spike compared to a year ago.

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Ohio schools may expand their anti-drug message to students. It's one of the new proposals from Attorney General Mike DeWine aimed at helping the children of opiate addicts. But some members of the Ohio Board of Education remember past drug education failures.

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