opioid epidemic | WOSU Radio

opioid epidemic

The rate of babies born with drug withdrawal is eight times larger than the rate 10 years ago. Officials say the sharp climb is a direct result of Ohio’s opioid epidemic.

J.D. Vance/Facebook

After chronicling his experience growing up in small-town Ohio, and becoming an election-year point of discussion, author J.D. Vance is moving home. Or at least to Columbus.

Greta Johnson

Just months after being reelected to the Ohio legislature, Akron-area representative Greta Johnson will step down this weekend to become the deputy law director for Summit County. Before she left, though, she penned a scathing open letter to Governor Kasich about what she calls his "hypocrisy" around fighting the opioid epidemic.

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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a program to help families hurt by parents' addiction to painkillers and heroin.

opioids and prescription medicine bottle
Flickr

A new study on calls to poison control centers, conducted in part by Nationwide Children's Center, found surprising information about kids' and teens' ingestion of opioids.

Washington Court House Police

While many Ohio municipalities are working to decriminalize opioid addiction, the city of Washington Court House in Fayette County has a different - and more dramatic - approach.

Adora Namigadde

In her quiet country home in Wilmington, Stephanie Kirkpatrick’s goal is just to keep out of trouble.

Prescribed narcotic painkillers continue to fuel a nationwide opioid epidemic—nearly half of fatal overdoses in the United States involve opioids prescribed by a doctor.

Ohio is extending a program that allows public agencies to get rebates on the opioid overdose antidote naloxone.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals gives the rebates for its version of the drug. It will continue to issue $6 rebates for every syringe sold.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says extending the rebate was necessary because of the rise of cheaper, more potent opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil.


A generation ago, the battle to teach kids about drug abuse used scare tactics and the “Just Say No” campaign. In this installment of our series, Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis, WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports that experts are now recommending a concentration on social and emotional learning, as well as peer-to-peer programs – some of which are already in-place in Northeast Ohio schools.

More Columbus Police Will Carry Drug Overdose Antidote

Feb 27, 2017
Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

Columbus Police say more officers will carry a drug overdose antidote after dozens of heroin users were revived with it during a pilot program.

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Ohio's governor has proposed allowing counties to create committees that would review overdose fatalities, and the public would have limited access to the findings.

The drug is so strong and deadly, it's been researched as a chemical weapon of warfare; police officers are warned to handle it with extreme care. The opioid carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine — but until now, it hasn't been a controlled substance in China, where producers have been exporting it abroad.

More people died in Ohio from an opioid overdose than any other state in the country in 2014, according to the latest national numbers from the Kaiser Family Foundation. It’s a dilemma law enforcement, faith groups and other community leaders are all trying to get a grip on. They’re hoping sharing as many ideas as possible can be the first step in winning the fight against this epidemic.

Gabe Rosenberg

Jennifer Mills drives down a long open road, flanked by fields of yellow grass, clouds overhanging.

As a child services caseworker, Mills says on most days she will drive from one end of Ross County to the other, filing paperwork at the local courthouse and to check in on her clients. Most are parents struggling to keep their kids, and kids adjusting to living without their parents. 

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