opioid epidemic

Jamie Monghan is a prisoner at the Ohio Reformatory for Women. She lives in the Tapestry Unit for women in addiction recovery.
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Heroin ran Stephanie Pollock's life. She woke up in the morning with heroin on her mind, her day revolved around it, and everything else including her three kids and her own well-being paled in comparison.

The city of Green in Summit County will equip hotels with Narcan, the naloxone nasal spray drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, in a program believed the be the first of its kind in the United States. 

Mayor Gerard Neugebauer says the need rose from a disproportionate number of overdoses along Interstate 77.

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET:

The first case in a flood of litigation against opioid drug manufacturers opened on Tuesday in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter's suit alleges Johnson & Johnson, the nation's largest drugmaker, helped ignite a public health crisis that has killed thousands of state residents.

Johnson & Johnson is the sole defendant in the case after two other companies — Teva Pharmaceuticals and Purdue Pharma — both settled with the state before the trial began.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is sponsoring a bill in the U.S. Senate to provide more financial help for children who become victims of the opioid crisis and the families who take those children in.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has a skin condition called rosacea, and he says he takes the antibiotic doxycycline once a day for it.

In 2013, the average market price of doxycycline rose from $20 to $1,829 a year later. That's an increase of over 8,000%.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks at a Service Employees International Union forum on labor issues, Saturday, April 27, 2019, in Las Vegas.
John Locher / Associated Press

Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is spending some time in Ohio as she hits the campaign trial. She's hosting a town hall meeting at a Franklinton STEM academy Friday night, but first she'll stop in Chillicothe for a meet-and-greet with voters.

White drug users addicted to heroin, fentanyl and other opioids have had near exclusive access to buprenorphine, a drug that curbs the craving for opioids and reduces the chance of a fatal overdose. That's according to a study out Wednesday from the University of Michigan.

This week, a federal appeals court addressed the right to treatment for an inmate who suffers from opioid addiction, a move that legal advocates say could have wide repercussions.

Teens from around the state gathered in Columbus for the We Are The Majority rally against drug use.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Thousands of teenagers from around the state gathered in Columbus for a rally against drug use as part of the "We Are The Majority" rally.

A new poll by NPR and Ipsos finds a third of Americans have been touched directly by the deadly opioid epidemic that still kills more than 100 people every day. "One in three have been personally affected in some way, either by knowing someone who has overdosed or by knowing someone with an opioid addiction," said Mallory Newall, lead Ipsos researcher on the survey.

Faced with a flood of addicted inmates and challenged by lawsuits, America's county jails are struggling to adjust to an opioid health crisis that has turned many of the jails into their area's largest drug treatment centers.

In an effort to get a handle on the problem, more jails are adding some form of medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, to help inmates safely detox from opioids and stay clean behind bars and after release.

A major pharmaceutical distribution company and two of its former executives are facing criminal charges for their roles in advancing the nation's opioid crisis and profiting from it.

Federal officials are charging 60 defendants across five states in what they're calling the largest opioid prescriber takedown ever. These are the first arrests announced since an opioid strike force began late last year.

Updated at 11:25 a.m. ET

Federal prosecutors are charging 60 doctors, pharmacists, medical professionals and others in connection with alleged opioid pushing and health care fraud, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

The charges came less than four months after the Justice Department dispatched experienced fraud prosecutors across hard-hit regions in Appalachia.

A new report out of the Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring (OSAM) Network finds that while opioid prescriptions are falling throughout Ohio, methamphetamine remains widely available in the state. In the Cleveland area, powdered cocaine and meth are becoming more available, and the number of clients entering treatment for meth use increased.

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