drugs

The Ohio Department of Medicaid announced that Medicaid will begin covering more medications to help with drug withdrawal symptoms, beginning in January.

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.

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.

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.

Provided / Miami University

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

Drew was in his early 30s. His medical history included alcohol abuse, but he had been sober for several months when he became my patient.

His previous doctor had given him a prescription for Ativan, or lorazepam, which is frequently used to allay tremors and seizures from alcohol withdrawal.

Ohioans who go to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions sometimes pay more out of pocket with their insurance card than they would have if they didn’t have coverage. But state regulators are doing something to try to ensure Ohioans pay the least possible.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cincinnati Police, the Coroner's Office and City officials are putting drug users and first responders on alert that there's another tainted batch of heroin back on the streets. Nine addicts died this weekend in Price Hill and Delhi Township.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Secure your purses, and don't travel alone is the advice from Cincinnati Police to Hispanic women in East Price Hill who are increasingly victims of crime.

Immigrant Affairs Liaison Officer Richard Longworth isn't willing to put all the blame on heroin users looking for cash but it does play a role. Hispanics report being robbed in the middle of the day on the street and outside their homes.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Department

New Hamilton County Justice Center inmate Lemario Gilbert thought he had an airtight plan to use and deal drugs inside the jail, but swallowing eleven balloons filled with marijuana and Suboxone proved to be a big mistake.

commons.wikimedia.org

Despite a spike in heroin overdoses in Hamilton County this week, local supply of an antidote is not in jeopardy. First responders still have access to naloxone, according to Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black. The Cincinnati Fire Department indicated it may need an additional $100,000 to purchase more naloxone. Black says that's not a problem for the budget.

Wikimedia Commons

Ohio is trying to get a handle on opioid abuse. New numbers show overdose deaths are rising.
 

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.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Department / Provided

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department says because of a visible increase in the number of drivers under the influence of drugs, it is starting to keep track of drug impaired drivers. Sergeant Mike Tarr says this will help the department know where and when to patrol.

Seal of Hamilton County
Provided / Hamilton County

Hamilton County is preparing to create a Heroin Task Force aimed at curbing the rapidly increasing number of users and overdoses.

Commission President Greg Hartmann announced the effort during his annual State of the County address Thursday.

"Nine thousand heroin addicts came through our jail in 2013," says Hartmann. "There's seven heroin overdoses per day in the City of Cincinnati. I've begun discussions in Columbus. I'm also going to invite the City and our public health experts."

His office later released the following goals for 2015:

Deputies find heroin in Bible

Jan 16, 2015
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Two people are accused of trying to smuggle heroin into the Hamilton County Justice Center in a Bible. 

Chief Deputy Mark Schoonover says the Bible was sent to the jail in mid December, and like all mail, it was searched.

A Sheriff’s K-9 indicated the presence of narcotics on the Bible; and deputies took a closer look.  On page 419 and 420, in the Book of Daniel, they noticed a light brown stain, about the size of a half dollar.

Schoonover says deputies cut a small piece of the page out and had it tested.  The results of the test were positive for heroin. 

This summer a Delhi woman died of a heroin overdose, the same day she allegedly bought the drugs from Christopher and Stephanie Eaglin.

In addition to trafficking and possession charges, the Eaglins are now facing an involuntary manslaughter indictment in connection with the death of that Delhi woman, 21-year-old Shea Fricke.

The Prosecutor's Office says this is the first case in Hamilton County where a drug dealer has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in an overdose death.

A survey of Tristate students  finds the majority are not using or abusing drugs and other substances.

The 2014 Student Drug-Use Survey finds:

  • 95.7% do not use prescription drugs non-medically
  • 90.2% do not smoke cigarettes
  • 88.6% do not use marijuana
  • 82.2% do not use alcohol

The study is conducted every two years by the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati (CDFGC). More than 56,000 7th-12th grade students from 107 schools took the survey this past fall.

  The United States has been waging the War on Drugs for more than 40 years, spending an estimated $1 trillion  during  that time. Many wonder if it’s time to re-think how we fight drug abuse and the criminal enterprise that surrounds and fosters it, through a system of substance regulation and control.

Alcohol The Most Abused Drug

Jan 12, 2014

  The local heroin crisis has rightfully received a lot of attention, but alcohol is still the most-abused drug in the U.S. It wrecks lives, devastates families, and is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths each year among those under the age of 21.

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