opioid epidemic | WOSU Radio

opioid epidemic

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.

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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.

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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.

Clermont County

Clermont County, just east of Cincinnati, plans to sue pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis. the county prosecutor, commissioners and court of common pleas have hired a West Virginia law firm to go after distributors.

A major new study on the opioid epidemic that has swept through Ohio and much of the rest of the country says the painkillers that triggered the crisis likely never should have been prescribed for many chronic pains.

Esther Honig

Like many fire stations across Columbus, Station 18 in the Linden neighborhood has seen an uptick in the number of overdose runs.

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City leaders in Middletown on Wednesday night said attorneys are still weighing whether they can legally decide not to revive people who repeatedly overdose.

At the Middletown, Ohio, fire department, calls for actual fires are rare. These days the station responds to more calls for drug overdoses — four to five a day on average.

Firefighter Bryan Oliver goes on a lot of these runs. Oliver and his team administer Naloxone and then perform CPR. He says they may treat the same patient for multiple overdoses, sometimes in the same day.

"Anybody you talk to who does this job will tell you it's frustrating and you put that to the side because you have a job to do," he says.

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