Opioids

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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Andrew Higley / UC Creative Services

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.

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Local health officials are reporting a spike in the number of drug overdoses. Hamilton County Public Health reports 17 people arrived at hospital emergency rooms, and emergency responders received 21 calls for help from Tuesday morning to Wednesday night.

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.

The driver accused of hitting and killing a 2-year-old in a stroller on the Hopple Street viaduct has been indicted. Satwinder Singh is accused of driving under the influence, jumping the curb and striking Dameon Turner, Jr., on December 30, 2018. Singh faces charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and failure to stop after an accident.

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.

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Ohio's bio science organization, Bio Ohio, will showcase technology Wednesday that area researchers are developing to combat the opioid crisis.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Eight investigators from the Centers for Disease Control are in Greater Cincinnati for the next several weeks trying to determine similarities in HIV cases among intravenous drug users on both sides of the Ohio River. It's hoped their findings can help prevent new cases.

Kentucky’s attorney general is suing another pharmaceutical manufacturer for contributing to the state’s opioid crisis. 

Andy Beshear filed a lawsuit on Thursday in Fayette Circuit Court against Pennsylvania-based Teva Pharmaceuticals. 

In a news conference, Beshear accused Teva of promoting highly addictive Fentanyl-based cancer drugs for off-label use.

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.

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

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. 

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