opioid epidemic

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
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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.

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.

File photo

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

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