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opioid epidemic

opioids and prescription medicine bottle
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Democrats in the Ohio House say they plan to drop a bill in the lame duck session of the legislature later this year that would, among other things, create a cabinet level position to deal with drug policy.

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.

Months in prison didn’t rid Daryl of his addiction to opioids.

“Before I left the parking lot of the prison, I was shooting up getting high,” he says.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions traveled to Cleveland on Wednesday to announce a series of actions against people accused of illegally distributing opioids.

The steps by the Justice Department target two Ohio doctors, two Chinese citizens and a number of others.

“Today’s announcements are a warning to every trafficker, every crooked doctor or pharmacist, every drug company, every chairman and foreign national and company that puts greed before the lives and health of the American people,” Sessions said.

opioids and prescription medicine bottle
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The panel that decides the wording of statewide ballot issues has agreed on the language for the only one voters will see this fall, an amendment to reduce penalties for non-violent drug crimes while allowing many current inmates to seek shorter sentences.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams made a plea in April for more Americans to be prepared to administer naloxone, an opioid antidote, in case they or people close to them suffer an overdose.

"The call to action is to recognize if you're at risk," Adams told NPR's Rachel Martin. "And if you or a loved one are at risk, keep within reach, know how to use naloxone."

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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.

A confidential government database of drug sales has become crucial to the nationwide opioid lawsuit in federal court in Cleveland.

The Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System, known as ARCOS, recorded painkiller sales between manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies at a time when overdose deaths surged nationwide.

CareSource Says Opioid Prescriptions Down 40 Percent

Aug 1, 2018

Ohio's largest Medicaid plan says the amount of opioids prescribed to its members has decreased 40 percent over the past 18 months.

CareSource announced Monday it plans to reduce that number by 50 percent by the end of this year.

The Dayton-based organization privately manages 1.8 million Medicaid plans. It says it notifies providers who prescribe a large amount of opioids to members, and can identify members at risk for substance misuse.

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.

In hospitals across the country, anesthesiologists and other doctors are facing significant shortages of injectable opioids. Drugs such as morphine, Dilaudid and fentanyl are the mainstays of intravenous pain control and are regularly used in critical care settings like surgery, intensive care units and hospital emergency departments.

Ohio State Sen. Joe Schiavoni
John Minchillo / AP

Democratic leaders are calling on the state to release some of the $2.7 billion in the state’s Rainy Day Fund. One senator says that money can be used to invest in the people.

A new report from the federal department that oversees Medicaid finds that prescribers in Ohio may still be overprescribing opioids in some cases.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general looked at opioid prescriptions for Medicaid participants in Ohio between June of 2016 and May of 2017.

  • They found that close to 5,000 Medicaid recipients received high doses of opioids in that period and more than 40,000 children under 18 received prescriptions.

     

What A U.S.-China Trade War Could Mean For The Opioid Epidemic

Jul 6, 2018

The American struggle to curb opioid addiction could become collateral damage in President Donald Trump’s showdown on trade. 

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