opioid epidemic

doctor
Pixabay

It’s not unusual for pharmaceutical companies to offer payments to doctors – for speaking fees, for travel expenses, for lunches and for gifts. But a new study shows 1 in 5 family doctors in America have received a payment involving an opioid medication – and Ohio is among the top states in the country in terms of money changing hands.

Tia Hosler woke up at 7:35 a.m. on a friend’s couch next to her newborn son’s crib after an overnight babysitting gig.

The 26-year-old had slept through her alarm and was late for the bus, her ride to group therapy in Fort Wayne, Indiana. And now she had to scramble. She tied her Kool-Aid-red hair into a tight bun and kissed her 2-month-old, Marsean. 


The city of Cincinnati wants three major drug distributors to pay for the opioid epidemic.

The city is the latest to file suit against AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson Corporation. A federal lawsuit alleges the companies let an epidemic run unchecked. A release from the city says those three companies account for 80 percent of the market for prescription opioids.

SPR Therapeutics

More than a year ago, 80-year old Helen Douglass described her shoulder and forearm pain following a stroke as 9 out of 10. Last summer, the Cleveland-area resident participated in a clinical trial for SPRINT, a small wearable stimulator patch. Now, she says she has no pain.

Opioid abuse is a crisis, but is it an emergency?

That's the question gripping Washington after President Trump's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis recommended that the president declare the epidemic a national emergency.

It's always appealing to think that there could be an easy technical fix for a complicated and serious problem.

For example, wouldn't it be great to have a vaccine to prevent addiction?

"One of the things they're actually working on is a vaccine for addiction, which is an incredibly exciting prospect," said Dr. Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services.

President Trump says he is ready to declare the nation's opioid crisis "a national emergency," saying it is a "serious problem the likes of which we have never had." Speaking to reporters at the entrance to his Bedminster, N.J., golf club, where he is on a working vacation, Trump promised "to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis."

Update 3:35 pm August 10: Two days after making a few general remarks about the opioid crisis, President Trump on Thursday called it "a national emergency" and said his administration would be drawing up papers to make it official.

"We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis," Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

Pexels

Leaders of the Ohio crime lab that processes chemical evidence from opiate-related cases say they're having a hard time keeping up. Officials with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation think they might have a solution: send some of the work elsewhere.

Adora Namigadde

Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to a crowd of officers at the Columbus Police Academy on Wednesday, saying the country "must create a culture that is hostile to drug abuse."

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to discuss the impact of the country's opioid epidemic during a speech Wednesday in Columbus.

A White House commission released a report this week on America's opioid crisis with an urgent recommendation — that President Trump declare it a national emergency.

Esther Honig

The National Association of Counties has spent the last four days convening at the convention center in Columbus, bringing together thousands of county leaders from across the county to discuss issues affecting local government.

At a lunch on Wednesday, President Trump tried to persuade some reluctant senators to endorse repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Wikimedia Commons

In June, Middletown, Ohio, council member Dan Picard suggested that every time an ambulance responds to a drug overdose, the receiving patient be required to pay for the cost by performing community service. If that person experiences more than two overdoses but have not completed their community service, the 911 dispatcher will not send an ambulance.

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