Opioids

Montgomery County health officials say the number of drug overdoses is rising.

Montgomery is among seven counties across Ohio that are seeing a spike in recent drug-related emergency room visits and overdoses this summer.

Courtesy Kenton County Detention Center

Kenton County is launching a 12-step re-entry program for inmates dealing with opioid addictions.

Addiction Policy Forum / Facebook

As the opioid epidemic continues and addiction experts push for more medication-assisted treatment, a controversial national nonprofit funded by drug companies is setting up shop in Kentucky.

Ohio is among one of the hardest hit states by the opioid crisis. Yet, for five years in a row, Ohio along with every state in the U.S. has seen a continuous drop in opioid prescriptions.  Still the number of people who die from opioid overdoses continues to climb. This is all part of a national trend captured in a recent report from the American Medical Association.

Kentucky's Attorney General announced on Thursday that the state is suing the pharmacy chain Walgreens for allegedly exacerbating the "man-made" opioid crisis, by playing a dual role in in the supply chain as both the distributor and dispenser.

The lawsuit also asserts the company willfully ignored its own safeguard systems that are designed to protect consumers and monitor their drug consumption.

The Exchange Project Opens New Location On The West Side

Jun 14, 2018
Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

The Exchange Project has opened a new location in Westwood at 2420 Harrison Ave.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

On Monday, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) will present awards to four first responders who've been impactful in helping their communities deal with the opiate epidemic.

Provided / Miami University

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

A Dayton artist is working on a new way to memorialize victims of the nation’s devastating opioid epidemic.

The project would create a memorial wall made of hand-cut mosaic tiles, called the  “Wall of Perseverance.”

The memorial is the brainchild of mosaic artist Jes McMillan, founder of the Mosaic Institute of Greater Dayton

Wikimedia Commons

As the opioid epidemic continues across the country and here in our region, communities as well as law enforcement, health and service agencies are adjusting their programs and policies to combat the crisis. There has been a shift from locking up drug users to providing them with the treatment they need to get sober and back to their families.

Give Ohioans time to listen to one another and they are capable of developing a plan to turn around the addiction crisis. So why isn’t it happening?

Journalists from the Your Voice Ohio media collaborative of nearly 40 print, radio, television and web news outlets met with several hundred people across the state from late 2017 well into 2018. The journalists were with the people, at the table, listening and sharing different perspectives on the crisis killing 4,000 in the state annually.

Attorneys handling hundreds of lawsuits over the opioid crisis say they’re making progress in discussions between local governments and drug companies.

U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster held a brief public hearing today to discuss the suits brought by cities, counties, Native American tribes and others against drug makers and distributors.

President Donald Trump has called the opioid crisis a national health emergency, ravaging Appalachian states like Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio.  That’s helped put the spotlight on the role doctors play in prescribing powerful pain relievers that sometimes lead to addiction and overdose deaths. 

A former Warren County physician will get a stinging reminder on Monday that his medical career is over, and that his freedom is being taken away.  Fred Gott will be sentenced in federal court for overprescribing powerful painkillers, including fentanyl and methadone.  The case against the 66-year-old heart doctor started to build in 2012.


A few months ago, Kourtnaye Sturgeon helped save someone's life. She was driving in downtown Indianapolis when she saw people gathered around a car on the side of the road. Sturgeon pulled over and a man told her there was nothing she could do: Two men had overdosed on opioids and appeared to be dead.

"I kind of recall saying, 'No man, I've got Narcan,' " she says, referring to the brand- name version of the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone. "Which sounds so silly, but I'm pretty sure that's what came out."

With the opioid crisis killing an estimated 11 Ohioans a day, state medical boards are rolling out additional rules for doctors and other prescribers who have patients dealing with long-term and acute pain. The guidelines create new hurdles to jump over before a doctor can prescribe opioid-based painkillers. 

To the untrained, the evidence looks promising for a new medical device to ease opioid withdrawal. A small study shows that people feel better when the device, an electronic nerve stimulator called the Bridge, is placed behind their ear.

The company that markets the Bridge is using the study results to promote its use to anyone who will listen: policymakers, criminal justice officials and health care providers.

The message is working.

mitch mcconnell
Lisa Gillespie / WFPL

Kentucky employers and addiction treatment providers are throwing their weight behind Senator Mitch McConnell’s opioid bill introduced last week in the U.S. Senate.

first step home
provided

First Step Home is on the front lines of the opiate epidemic and is successfully helping women return to the community drug-free, as contributing members of society.

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.

It was a scheduling mishap that led Kourtnaye Sturgeon to help save someone’s life. About four months ago, Sturgeon drove to downtown Indianapolis for a meeting. She was a week early.

“I wasn’t supposed to be there,” she said.


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