Opioids

Editor's note: To protect the anonymity of the children in this story, we are not using their names.

Children are often called the hidden casualties of the opioid epidemic. They carry a lot of secrets and shame.

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati has rejected Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s request to delay the October 21 start for the huge opioid trial in federal court in Cleveland.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is backing a study to take an in-depth look at the genetic factors behind substance abuse disorder. Yost believes this will be a critical step towards data-based prevention efforts.

Johnson & Johnson and two Ohio counties have reached a tentative $20.4 million settlement that removes the corporation from the first federal lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, scheduled to begin later this month.

Updated at 4:02 p.m. ET

Federal prosecutors are charging 11 doctors with unlawfully distributing opioids and other substances, in the second large operation to target "pill mill" operators and health care fraud this year. Two other people also face charges in the sting.

"The alleged conduct resulted in the distribution of more than 17 million pills" in the Appalachian region, the Justice Department said.

Associated Press

A huge opioid trial is scheduled in Cleveland in October, and when it happens some leaders in Ohio want to make sure that we learn from past mistakes. 

After taking heat for arguing the state should have a lead role in next month’s huge opioid trial in Cleveland, Ohio’s attorney general says he wants to be clear that he thinks any money won should be spent at the local level. 

Journalist Beth Macy has chronicled the origins of the opioid crisis in Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America.

In the new paperback edition's discussion guide, she argues again for greater emphasis on medical treatment for addicts.And she discussed President Trump, lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and other issues in an interview with The Daily Yonder, which covers rural America. For some excerpts, read on.

Associated Press

September is Recovery Month, a time to increase awareness and understanding about substance use disorders and celebrate people in recovery. The University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University are among the nation's schools that have received a sizable grant from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration. The money will go toward training students for careers in behavioral health professions focused on substance use.

Updated: 4:18 p.m., Aug. 28, 2019

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has circulated draft legislation that could allow the state — not counties — to take the lead in lawsuits over the opioid crisis.

The news comes as Purdue Pharma considers a settlement, reportedly valued at $10 billion to $12 billion, with more than 2,000 local governments suing drug companies over the opioid crisis.

Three small companies and University Hospitals in Cleveland will be receiving $1 million each for products they created to help fight opioid abuse with technology.

Two drug companies have reached agreements in principle with Cuyahoga and Summit counties to settle the local governments’ federal lawsuits over the opioid crisis.

When they started practicing medicine, most surgeons say, there was little or no information about just how many pain pills patients needed after specific procedures.

Provided

Book Review: Barbara Gray reviews Not Far From Me: Stories of Opioids and Ohio by Daniel Skinner and Berkeley Franz, both Assistant Professors at Ohio University.

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Jim Nolan / WVXU

Former Judge Tracie Hunter was dragged out of a courtroom this week after being sentenced to jail. Her sentencing sparked shouts in the courtroom, protests in front of two other judges' homes, and community-wide discussion and commentary about the state of race relations in Cincinnati.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

A pharmaceutical distributor that was incorporated in Montgomery County, two of its former executives and two pharmacists are charged in what federal prosecutors say was a multi-million dollar conspiracy. U.S. District Attorney Ben Glassman says all of the defendants are charged with a single count of violating the controlled substances act.

Updated at 10:44 p.m. ET

For the first time, a federal court in Ohio is releasing a trove of data that offers far more detail about the size and scope of the nation's opioid epidemic — and about the role played by drug companies and pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens and Johnson & Johnson that profited from the rapid growth of prescription opioid sales.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s office is warning residents of a possible spike in drug overdose deaths. Health officials say the opioid overdose death rate has fluctuated over the last few months. They’re warning the deaths may be linked to the dangerous opioid fentanyl.

Eric Blaine, director of the Montgomery County Coroner’s office, says the high number of suspected overdose deaths already in July is alarming.

“Anytime we see this we have to caution everybody that there is no safe way to use illegal drugs,” he says.

The plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors are proposing creating a "negotiating class" to settle claims with the companies. 

Lawyers for the drug companies and the cities, counties and towns suing them descended on District Court Judge Dan Polster's Clevleand federal district courtroom Tuesday for a hearing.

Polster started by saying the opioid litigation in front of him has been “called by some the most complex litigation ever tried.”

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

Dayton, hard hit by the opioid crisis, is battling back. The latest help comes from a Google Alphabet company called Verily, which is piloting an addiction treatment program it may scale nationwide.

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