Opioids

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A nationwide report released Tuesday looks at how federal dollars are being spent on the opioid epidemic. The study from the Bipartisan Policy Center drills down on five states in particular, including Ohio, where federal spending increased from $10 per person in 2017 to $19 last year.

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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.

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Sen. Mitch McConnell made a swing through his home state Monday to talk about successes Kentucky is seeing in dealing with opioid addiction and treatment. The Senate majority leader, McConnell says the federal government is making money available and local groups are reaping the benefits.

America's big drugmakers and pharmacy chains are scrambling to respond to hundreds of lawsuits tied to the deadly opioid epidemic. Billions of dollars are at stake if the companies are found liable for fueling the crisis.

Even before judgments are rendered, companies like Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and CVS are already suffering damage to their reputations as evidence in civil suits reveals more about their internal workings.

In his State of the State speech, Gov. Mike DeWine said he will have a team of cabinet members dedicated to dealing with public health including opioid abuse, mental health services and the health of families. And that idea is getting good reviews right now.

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The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition is launching a pre-arrest diversion program aimed at getting people into treatment rather than going to jail.

As of July 1, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation will no longer pay for a powerful painkiller that’s at the center of the opioid crisis here in the Buckeye State. 

A leader in the Kentucky Senate wants to limit the number of syringes handed out in local needle exchange programs. 

Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer is sponsoring a bill in this year’s legislative session that would require programs to give only one sterile syringe for every dirty needle that’s turned in at local health departments.

SB 69 is awaiting a vote in Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

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.

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There's a new device that dispenses the opioid-reversing drug naloxone, and the University of Cincinnati professor who invented it plans to put it inside Cincinnati buildings this spring.

Janet Kavanaugh was 79 years old and near death when she was transferred from an assisted care facility to Mount Carmel West hospital in Columbus. Her family requested that lifesaving measures be stopped, and that Kavanaugh be comfortable for her remaining time.

For the first time in U.S. history, a leading cause of deaths — vehicle crashes — has been surpassed in likelihood by opioid overdoses, according to a new report on preventable deaths from the National Safety Council.

Americans now have a 1 in 96 chance of dying from an opioid overdose, according to the council's analysis of 2017 data on accidental death. The probability of dying in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 103.

Opioid-Makers Face Wave of Lawsuits in 2019

Dec 31, 2018

The next 12 months might just redefine the way America thinks about and responds to the opioid epidemic that now claims more than 40,000 lives each year. The nation's biggest drugmakers and distributors face a wave of civil lawsuits that could total tens of billions of dollars in damages.

When people seek help at a drug treatment center for an opioid addiction, concerns about having contracted hepatitis C are generally low on their list.

They've often reached a crisis point in their lives, says Marie Sutton, the CEO of Imagine Hope, a consulting group that provides staff training and technical assistance to facilitate testing for the liver-damaging virus at more than 30 drug treatment centers in Georgia.

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.

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.

John Minchillo / AP Photo

Fort Mitchell will soon be home to a new initiative targeting the nation's opioid epidemic.

Rates of drug overdose deaths continue to increase according to a new report from the CDC. Overdose deaths rose nearly 10 percent in 2017.

Attorney General Andy Beshear has filed a lawsuit against another painkiller manufacturer, saying that the company fueled Kentucky’s drug epidemic through aggressive marketing and fraud.

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.

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