opioid epidemic | WOSU Radio

opioid epidemic

A presidential commission last week released its report on recommendations to help curb the nation’s opioid crisis. Indiana stakeholders say they’re heartened the crisis is receiving national attention but think parts of the report missed the mark.

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A report commissioned by the Trump administration makes over 50 recommendations for federal government to battle the opioid epidemic. Columbus City Council president Zach Klein, though, says he's skeptical the administration will provide the necessary financial resources to carry out the recommendations.  

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is rolling out his 12-point Recovery Ohio plan in Cincinnati. It's aimed at tackling the opioid epidemic, but it will have larger law enforcement benefits.

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The Ohio State University announced on Thursday that they’re establishing a Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, funded by a $4.5 million dollar gift from the Charles Koch Foundation.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
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Ohio’s attorney general says the state needs to be doing more to fight the opioid crisis, which last year killed an average of 11 Ohioans a day. He says he’s putting pressure on the drug companies the state is already suing to begin immediate settlement talks.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said it’s past time for the U.S. to deal with the opioid epidemic.

Christie, who chairs the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, spoke Monday at the Indiana attorney general’s Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium in Indianapolis.

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Local communities who were hoping for new money in President Trump’s public health emergency declaration to fight the addiction crisis were disappointed. There are some initiatives that are giving advocates hope, though.

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A new report from The Ohio State University finds that improving access to addiction treatment and economic resources are the most effective way to reduce opioid abuse and deaths, which reached a record high in Ohio last year.

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In the middle of an ongoing investigation by the FBI, the Ohio Department of Medicaid has revoked privileges from an Ohio chain of for-profit addiction treatment centers called Braking Point.

It has the power to save lives by targeting opioid overdoses — something that kills more than 140 Americans every day. And now Narcan, the nasal spray that can pull a drug user back from an overdose, is being carried by all of Walgreens' more than 8,000 pharmacies.

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After Summit County declared a “state of emergency” caused by the opioid crisis, county leaders are preparing to sue the companies that make and distribute addictive painkillers. Akron, Barberton, Cuyahoga Falls and others are expected to join.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

President Trump declared a public health emergency to deal with the opioid epidemic Thursday, freeing up some resources for treatment. More than 140 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We are currently dealing with the worst drug crisis in American history," Trump said, adding, "it's just been so long in the making. Addressing it will require all of our effort."

"We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic," he said.

Julie Eldred has been struggling with addiction to opioids for more than a decade and she says the criminal justice system punishes her for it.

Eldred, a part-time pet caretaker in Acton, Mass., was put on probation last year for theft. She knew staying drug-free would be tough — especially at first, when she was going through opioid withdrawal. But, she says, she didn't have much of a choice.

Akron’s Quick Response Team has become the first in Summit County to offer residents naloxone kits and training on how to use them to counter the effects of an opioid overdose.

Joseph Natko, the district chief of the Akron Fire Department, says the effort is part of a follow-up strategy with people who recently overdosed.

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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. 

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