opioid epidemic | WOSU Radio

opioid epidemic

Ohio U.S. Sentators Rob Portman, left, and Sherrod Brown.
Ideastream

Both of Ohio’s U.S. Senators have introduced a bipartisan bill they say will help combat the opioid abuse problems in the Buckeye State.

Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) introduces plan to pull $200 million from the Ohio Rainy Day Fund to fight opioid addiction.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Democratic senators believe Ohio has reached a critical point in the opioid epidemic and needs to turn to extreme measures in order to tackle the problem.

In March, President Trump called opioid abuse in the U.S. "a total epidemic," and issued an executive order creating a commission focused on combating the opioid crisis.

There’s a new drug on the streets in three states, including Ohio. And the state’s top law enforcement official says it is already causing overdoses. 

Healthcare Costs / Flickr

Ohio health care advocates are reacting to Thursday's passage of a GOP health bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill is far from becoming reality. But, if passed into law, the “American Health Care Act” would make a long list of changes to the country’s health-care system.

Mount Carmel West

Charlie Stewart is tall, 25 years old, and broad shouldered. He’s wearing a grey polo-shirt and slacks, and starts each morning with a protein shake.

Every Tuesday you can find him walking the narrow linoleum halls of the emergency department at Mount Carmel West.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has proposed hiring its own prosecutor corps to bring cases related to drug trafficking, money laundering and asset forfeiture — a move that advocacy groups warn could exceed the DEA's legal authority and reinvigorate the 1980s-era war on drugs.

Rep Ryan Smith presents a poster identifying how opioid dollars will be spent..
Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

The Ohio House’s version of the two year budget adds more than $170 million to fight Ohio’s opioid crisis and adds $80 million for the state’s K-12 schools.

File Photo

Ohio’s opioid crisis has been tearing through the state causing one tragedy after another. For months, Democrats have been calling on Gov. John Kasich to release rainy day funds to aid in the fight. One Republican who wants to replace him was asked at a broadcasters' gathering to weigh in on that.

Nearly 1.5 million Americans were treated for addiction to prescription opioids or heroin in 2015, according to federal estimates, and when those people get seriously hurt or need surgery, it's often not clear, even to many doctors, how to safely manage their pain. For some former addicts, what begins as pain relief ends in tragedy.

prescription drugs and money
StockMonkeys.com

A program announced last month to help children hurt by their parents' addictions is already expanding in Ohio.

John Kasich
File photo / John Kasich

Gov. John Kasich had strong words for leaders in Washington from his own party. Kasich’s comments came amid uncertainty over Ohio’s fiscal future.

The trouble started for Lisa when she took a blood pressure pill and one to control seizures, along with methadone, a drug used to help wean patients off heroin.

"I inadvertently did the methadone cocktail and I went to sleep for like 48 hours," Lisa says, rolling her eyes and coughing out a laugh. "It kicked my butt. It really kicked my butt."

Teresa Long (left), Columbus Health Commissioner, at the Columbus Metropolitan Club forum on opioid abuse.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Some of the biggest players in the fight against Ohio’s opioid abuse told business leaders that the epidemic might be closer than they think and warned them to be prepared.

The opioid epidemic has intensified the call for alternatives to narcotics for people with acute and chronic pain.

In last week’s State of the State, Ohio Governor John Kasich said he wants to put more money toward finding other options. He recommended devoting $20 million to help Ohio researchers develop new technologies to fight pain.

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