News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

NOCHE

Knight Foundation

Metro RTA


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Health and Medicine


Pilot program attempting to stem the end users in Ohio's heroin epidemic
Lorain County police can now carry a drug that's been designed to treat overdose cases, and has saved 12 of 13 in the past month
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
Breakout sessions like this one allowed law enforcement and medical personnel the chance to discuss ways to stem Ohio's rapidly growing heroin problem
Courtesy of K. Bhatia
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
About 700 medical and law enforcement personnel gathered for a day-long summit on Northeast Ohio’s rapidly growing heroin problem. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on the search for causes and solutions.
Pilot program attempting to stem the end users in Ohio's heroin epidemic

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:26)


Experts at the summit say deaths from heroin overdoses tripled from 2011 to 2012. Users cut across all demographics because the cost of heroin has plunged in recent years.

Dr. Stephen Evans says Lorain County – where he’s the coroner -- is a microcosm of what’s happening throughout the state.

“We had this huge population that was addicted to prescription medicines. And as those are being pulled off the streets, [the] dealers are putting heroin on the streets. It’s easier to get. It’s freely available. And it’s quite reasonably priced.”

The drug is coming in from Mexico and also Afghanistan, where production resumed after the fall of the Taliban. The pipeline of heroin to the U.S. has even caused problems for Russia, formerly a big customer for Afghanistan, where chemists are now cooking up a substitute called Krokodil.

“They’re taking codeine and putting it through processes including using gasoline and other things to bastardize the chemical and use it like heroin. Unfortunately, it’s much more addicting and much more damaging. And that’s where you see these pictures of people with their arms falling off after they inject this stuff.”

Evans says Ohio’s heroin problem is 10 times worse than its meth problem.

“It started off [that] southern Ohio is the biggest area. And some of that is because West Virginia and Kentucky are the No. 1 and No. 3 states for drug overdoses in the entire United States. So that was filtering into southern Ohio.”

And eventually filtering throughout the state. Ohio ranks 12th for overdose deaths. Evans says education on the dangers of drug abuse – of all kinds – is needed to stem the problem over time. But for immediate results, he’s led the push for police officers to carry Narcan. That’s a brand name for a drug which – when squirted in the nostrils – can counter overdoses. Evans says it’s safer than aspirin, and he’d like to see it offered over the counter.

“It’s a completely benign medication. If we gave it to every person, it would be like squirting their nose with saline. It has only one function in life, and that is to reverse a narcotic overdose. If you gave it to someone who doesn’t have narcotics on board, it’s not going to affect them one bit.”

Each Narcan kit costs about $25, and Evans hopes the kits can be as ubiquitous as defibrillators in the future. Starting last month state legislation kicked in to allow Lorain County law enforcement to carry the kits as part of a pilot program. Since then, 12 of 13 overdose lies were saved, with the victims sitting up and talking in a matter of minutes.
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio's Supreme Court narrowly upholds Ashford Thompson's death sentence
"Justices" William O’Neill, Paul Pfeifer and Judith Lanzinger should all be immediately removed from the court. If they could actually believe that this murde...

Ohio's Sen. Brown is pushing for more assistance for homeless vets
That would be a great program to have for the homeless vets. Many of them are still suffering from PTSD even from the Vietnam war.

Lordstown GM plant plans to install 8,500 solar panels
How much will this solar array cost? How is it being funded, and who is really paying for it? How much real useful electricity will it actually produce in MEh p...

Local Ebola concerns cause officials to pay more attention to West Africa
I have a better idea, let's secure our borders and spend those billions of dollars on our own first.

HUD and Cuyahoga Land Bank extend a housing deal for another year
Need to sale lot, and would like to know how to contact someone to see if they may be interested in the property that sat between two lots. If you can give me...

Akron Beacon Journal details abuse claims against televangelist Angley
In the early 90's I went forth for pray. And the man was anointed by the hand of God. Just a fact I will never forget

Lawmaker questions why a million voters didn't get absentee applications
He's a damn lie! I vote n all elections. I missed 1. Haven't gotten my absentee ballot and their making it hard to get one.

Thirsty Dog Brewery warns it might have to leave Akron
Why is it the city's responsibility to find this guy a location? There are a hundred realestate companies that could help him.

Kent State sends home three after contact with second Ebola-stricken nurse
Why weren't all health workers who were around Duncan quaranteened for 21 days and tested for Ebola? That's a no-brainer. Why was Vinson allowed to travel right...

New book says Willoughby Coal is haunted...and that's good for business
Would love to see a series of books that would just thrill me. I cannot wait to visit some of the locations. And revisit some of the locations I have already vi...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University