Opioids

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County's needle exchange program is fully operational. And officials are hoping it will do more than just allow people to trade dirty syringes for clean ones.

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Random drug tests are routine for private schools but few area public schools are doing it, even with the opioid crisis. Among the reasons they give for skipping testing include: it's not the best way to partner with families, there's a lack of scientific data on effectiveness, and the issue just hasn't come up.

Jim Nolan/WVXU

With three new members, Cincinnati City Council is sworn in and gets to work, the region continues to suffer the effects of the opioid epidemic, Macy's announces the closing of its downtown store, the Ohio governor and senate races take shape and FC Cincinnati still waits to hear about its bid for a Major League Soccer franchise.

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Much of the reporting on the heroin crisis is focused on the tragic aspects of the epidemic, leaving people feeling helpless and hopeless without an end in sight. A local organization, the Urban Minority Alcohol & Drug Abuse Outreach Program (UMADAOP), says getting out a message of help and hope is equally as important as telling the story of risk and loss.

How Local Colleges Are Helping Fight Heroin

Nov 7, 2017
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This Friday, November 10, Northern Kentucky University will host the inaugural conference of the Ohio River Valley Addiction Research Consortium (ORVARC). The conference will focus on evidence-based research on neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

America's First Heroin Epidemic A Century Ago

Nov 7, 2017
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The year was 1908 and an Ohio doctor, appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt as the nation's first Opium Commissioner, warned that Americans "have become the greatest drug fiends in the world." If the sentiment seems all too familiar in the grips of our current opioid epidemic, you'll find there are many similarities, and some shocking differences, between current times and a drug crisis that dates all the way back to the Civil War.

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Hamilton County's leaders aren't counting on help from the state to build an opioid diversion center. Commissioners passed a motion directing the administration to look into building such a facility.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The maker of Narcan is making a research grant to Hamilton County that will provide nearly $2 million worth of the overdose antidote to combat the local heroin crisis.

Ohio Society of Interventional Pain Physicians

Medical professionals who help people dealing with chronic pain are gathering in Cincinnati this weekend. It will be the first meeting of the Ohio Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.

Jim Nolan/WVXU

A former Cincinnati mayor makes an endorsement in the upcoming mayoral race and city council candidates are raising money for their campaigns. Communities continue to seek solutions to the opioid crisis, Northern Kentucky University settles a sexual assault case and a dispute erupts over the removal of a local Confederate memorial. And it has been a tumultuous week for Macy's.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Boone and Kenton counties plan to sue three of the country's largest wholesale drug distributors. Fiscal courts in both counties say AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson Corporation are a big reason for Northern Kentucky's opioid epidemic.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The city of Cincinnati wants three major drug distributors to pay for the opioid epidemic.

The city is the latest to file suit against AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson Corporation. A federal lawsuit alleges the companies let an epidemic run unchecked. A release from the city says those three companies account for 80 percent of the market for prescription opioids.

SPR Therapeutics

More than a year ago, 80-year old Helen Douglass described her shoulder and forearm pain following a stroke as nine out of 10. Last summer the Cleveland-area resident participated in a clinical trial for SPRINT, a small wearable stimulator patch and has no pain now.

Her story is one of many SPR Therapeutics points to and the Ohio company is now marketing the FDA approved portable device that delivers neuro-stimulation to the nerve causing the pain. CEO Maria Bennett says SPRINT is somewhere between TENS and a fully implantable stimulation device.

Some medical scientists believe the patch could become a substitute for opioid abuse. 

Local organization Impact Changes Society is teaming with documentarian Jerry Buck to get his latest film, The War We Ignore, about the growing opioid epidemic, into schools this fall. 

This Week's News In The Tri-State

Aug 4, 2017
Jim Nolan/WVXU

Each Friday on Cincinnati Edition we review and discuss the people, stories and events that are affecting the Tri-state.

Clermont County plans to sue pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis. Commissioners, the county prosecutor, and court of common pleas have hired a West Virginia law firm to go after distributors.


Jim Nolan/WVXU

The continuing opioid crisis in our region moved Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to file a lawsuit against five major prescription drug manufacturers Wednesday.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Ohio's Attorney General issued a warning late last week about a new mixture of opiates causing overdoses. Mike DeWine says "gray death" is a mixture of fentanyl, heroin, and the synthetic drug U47700.

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Local emergency medical services (EMS) have been taxed by the continuing opioid crisis in our region. During one six-day period last summer in Cincinnati, there were 174 overdoses. 

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Daily stories of overdoses, deaths and efforts to reduce opioid addiction have made us all too aware of the continuing drug crisis taking place in Greater Cincinnati. 

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