addiction

The opioid epidemic has ravaged cities across the United States. And just a couple of years ago, Dayton, Ohio, had one of the nation’s worst overdose death rates. Now, overdose deaths have decreased, and Ohioans impacted by addiction are sharing stories of hope.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

In the wake of the opioid crisis, a pilot program in Cincinnati is designed to fill another gap in addiction treatment. In the Safe Places Cincy project, anyone seeking help for addiction can ask for help at a city health center and get a ride to one of three treatment programs.

The Columbus, Ohio, area has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. And local judges say their courtrooms are jammed with misdemeanor cases that are tied to addiction. Eager for solutions, they're turning to a  treatment clinic in an unlikely location.

In 2018, Side Effects covered community struggles with public health crises, barriers to treatment and clever workarounds to get vulnerable people the care they need. 

In September 2016, the town of East Liverpool, Ohio, captured national attention when a photo of a local couple's overdose went viral. It showed a woman and her boyfriend sprawled comatose in the front seats of a car, while the woman's 4-year-old grandson sat in the back. The image was originally posted by the local police department. Overnight, East Liverpool, a town of just over 11,000 people, became the face of the opioid crisis enveloping parts of the country.

Addiction affects millions of Americans. At a live storytelling event, Indiana community members who struggle with addiction shared their stories of life in recovery.

Fentanyl is now the drug most frequently involved in overdose deaths in the U.S., according to a National Vital Statistics System report published Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report sheds a bright light on the changing nature of America's drug landscape — and the devastating number of overdose deaths that have occurred in the U.S. in recent years.

Report: Meth-Related Overdose Deaths Spike In Ohio

Oct 26, 2018

A new report from a group of Ohio researchers documents an explosion in the number of overdose deaths involving methamphetamines and amphetamines.

As groupsassociations, and individual polticians around Ohio line up against a statewide ballot issue to cut jail time for some drug offenders, one group remains steadfast in their support.

Ohio’s U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown are proposing a major policy shift for residential treatment facilities. Addiction recovery advocates say the change in Congress will help treatment centers open their doors to more people in need. 

faces of addiction tony
Courtesy of Eric Hatch

Editor's note: This story was first published in Oct. 2018. In November, Hatch met his goal of profiling 50 addicts.

Tony DeJohn has a gravelly voice, which belies his reserved and soft-spoken demeanor. A lifelong Ohioan, he calls himself an "Italian hillbilly" and counts among his hobbies walking, watching sports and "helping people."

And drugs. Specifically, meth.

Dayton's Road To Recovery

Sep 19, 2018
dayton the path forward
TY GREENLEES / DAYTON DAILY NEWS STAFF

Like many smaller post-industrial cities, Dayton, Ohio, was hit hard by the Great Recession and continues efforts to transform its business and employee base to meet the needs of our new tech economy. The city also suffers a high poverty rate and has been battling the ongoing opioid crisis.

Hundreds of mental health and addiction counselors could lose their jobs because the state is now requiring criminal background checks for people who provide Medicaid services. Some of those counselors and their employers who’d be affected by the new policy are asking state lawmakers to step in.

Ohio’s head of corrections Gary Mohr made a passionate call for sentencing reforms during a speech Friday at the City Club of Cleveland

Mohr said he’ll be leaving his post soon with a heavy heart over one issue.

Who Do First Responders Call For Help?

Aug 16, 2018

Blood has a distinct, coppery scent. If that's what Brandon Dreiman smelled when he stepped off the fire truck, he knew his job wasn’t going to be easy.

State lawmakers are working on a bill to bring full-scale sports betting to Ohio. That's after the Supreme Court in May struck down a law that restricted sports betting everywhere except in Nevada. If it's legalized, there will be big money in it for casinos, tax collectors, and app developers.

But advocates for problem gamblers, and experts who study gambling disorders, warn that making sports betting legal will likely increase the number of people at risk for gambling addiction.

Opponents are fighting back against a statewide ballot measure that would reduce the penalties for drug offenders. Under Issue 1, minor drug-related offenses would not require prison time, prioritizing treatment instead. Critics say that sets a dangerous precedent.

drugs
Pixabay

Cincinnati Council will vote Wednesday on an ordinance adding addiction prevention as a priority for the city's human services funding.

Pixabay

As society loosens its restrictions on gender roles, it seems the stigma around women drinking alcohol has vanished. According to the National Institutes of Health, drinking habits among women and men are becoming more alike, which could be putting women at greater risk for a variety of alcohol-related dangers. One of the key risk factors is addiction, but another health concern is the link between drinking and the risk for breast cancer.

How To Get Your Teen To Put Down Their Smartphone

Jun 20, 2018
cincinnati edition
Pixabay.com

Medical researchers, educators and tech professionals continue their warnings about children and teens spending too much time on their smartphones.   

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