opioids

Last year, Ohio changed its rules for prescribing opioids, restricting amounts of, and circumstances under which, doctors can prescribe those narcotics. The new rules have an exemption for people who are in hospice type care for diseases like cancer. But many patients who suffer from chronic pain say the new rules are leaving them without pain relief, resulting in unintended consequences.

Gov. John Kasich says he’ll do what many of his fellow Republicans say they’ll do this fall when it comes to the statewide ballot issue that would change criminal sentencing to prefer treatment over prison time. 

Montgomery County health officials say the number of drug overdoses is rising.

Montgomery is among seven counties across Ohio that are seeing a spike in recent drug-related emergency room visits and overdoses this summer.

Kentucky's Attorney General announced on Thursday that the state is suing the pharmacy chain Walgreens for allegedly exacerbating the "man-made" opioid crisis, by playing a dual role in in the supply chain as both the distributor and dispenser.

The lawsuit also asserts the company willfully ignored its own safeguard systems that are designed to protect consumers and monitor their drug consumption.

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A new website enables Butler County residents to track overdose trends from 2013 to 2017.

A Dayton artist is working on a new way to memorialize victims of the nation’s devastating opioid epidemic.

The project would create a memorial wall made of hand-cut mosaic tiles, called the  “Wall of Perseverance.”

The memorial is the brainchild of mosaic artist Jes McMillan, founder of the Mosaic Institute of Greater Dayton

President Donald Trump has called the opioid crisis a national health emergency, ravaging Appalachian states like Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio.  That’s helped put the spotlight on the role doctors play in prescribing powerful pain relievers that sometimes lead to addiction and overdose deaths. 

A former Warren County physician will get a stinging reminder on Monday that his medical career is over, and that his freedom is being taken away.  Fred Gott will be sentenced in federal court for over-prescribing powerful painkillers, including Fentanyl and Methadone.  The case against the 66-year-old heart doctor started to build in 2012.


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Random drug tests are routine for private schools but few area public schools are doing it, even with the opioid crisis. Among the reasons they give for skipping testing include: it's not the best way to partner with families, there's a lack of scientific data on effectiveness, and the issue just hasn't come up.

Ohio Society of Interventional Pain Physicians

Medical professionals who help people dealing with chronic pain are gathering in Cincinnati this weekend. It will be the first meeting of the Ohio Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The city of Cincinnati wants three major drug distributors to pay for the opioid epidemic.

The city is the latest to file suit against AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson Corporation. A federal lawsuit alleges the companies let an epidemic run unchecked. A release from the city says those three companies account for 80 percent of the market for prescription opioids.

SPR Therapeutics

More than a year ago, 80-year old Helen Douglass described her shoulder and forearm pain following a stroke as nine out of 10. Last summer the Cleveland-area resident participated in a clinical trial for SPRINT, a small wearable stimulator patch and has no pain now.

Her story is one of many SPR Therapeutics points to and the Ohio company is now marketing the FDA approved portable device that delivers neuro-stimulation to the nerve causing the pain. CEO Maria Bennett says SPRINT is somewhere between TENS and a fully implantable stimulation device.

Some medical scientists believe the patch could become a substitute for opioid abuse. 

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


Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Ohio's Attorney General issued a warning late last week about a new mixture of opiates causing overdoses. Mike DeWine says "gray death" is a mixture of fentanyl, heroin, and the synthetic drug U47700.

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Local emergency medical services (EMS) have been taxed by the continuing opioid crisis in our region. During one six-day period last summer in Cincinnati, there were 174 overdoses. 

East Tennessee Children's Hospital / YouTube

The number of babies born drug dependent continues to increase. In Greater Cincinnati and elsewhere neonatologists are looking for answers.

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In just one week this summer, there were more than 175 heroin overdoses reported in the Cincinnati area. 

WFIU/WTIU News

As the heroin crisis continues across the country and here in Greater Cincinnati, news and media organizations have been trying to explore and expose the many aspects of drug abuse, the individuals fighting addiction and community response to the epidemic.

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In the past three weeks, there have been nearly 300 overdoses and three deaths from heroin in the Cincinnati area. These are unprecedented numbers and the situation is nothing short of a public health emergency. 

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It’'s not easy dealing with chronic pain, and medical professionals often resort to prescribing their patients opiates, which can become addictive and lead to more problems. 

More and more companies are requiring job applicants to take a pre-employment drug test — and more and more individuals are failing, according to a New York Times article published this May. This is due in part to an increase in the use of drugs such as marijuana, which is becoming legal in more areas of the country, or opioid drugs, which have swept the nation as an epidemic.

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