Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis

Credit Layne Gerbig / WKSU

Day after day, week after week, the headlines in Northeast Ohio and across much of the country contain news of tragic loss:  lives lost to opioids. It’s a problem that knows no bounds:  geography, race, gender, level of education or income.

The problem took on new urgency this summer as the powerful elephant sedative, Carfentanil, began hitting the streets.  First responders armed with their only weapon, the overdose antidote Naloxone, have struggled to keep up with what’s become an overwhelming problem. It’s an issue that’s straining public and social resources.  What has become clear is that business as usual is not going to fix the problem.

WKSU news has been covering the unfolding crisis. Tuesdays during Morning Edition, the WKSU news team digs even deeper.  WKSU reporters will examine what’s led us here and what might be done to turn the tide.  

Support for Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis comes from Wayne Savings Community Bank, Kent State University Office of Continuing and Distance Education, Hometown Grocery Delivery, Mercy Medical Center, AxessPointe Community Health Center, Community Support Services, Inc., Medina County District Library and Hudson Community First.

Ways to Connect

photo of Shakyra Diaz
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Backers of State Issue 1 say the proposed constitutional amendment will move Ohio in the right direction in fighting the opioid crisis. But opponents say the move will weaken law enforcement.

Shakyra Diaz with Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, a crime victim advocacy group, says Issue 1 will help the state cut down on the prison population and divert the money saved into treatment and rehabilitation programs.

photo of Lisa Ortiz
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The Women’s Recovery Center in Cleveland is expanding its services as more and more patients from Cuyahoga, Lorain and Medina Counties struggle with opioid addiction.

The center’s million-dollar expansion has increased patient capacity by 75 percent, and they’re also planning to offer on-site detox, five days a week.

photo of Michelle Bestic, Lea Heidman, Brian Malone, Dr. Sarah Friebert
AKRON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL

Akron Children’s Hospital is starting a new addiction treatment program, which will centralize many of its services that assist young people with substance-abuse issues.

The program’s start-up is being funded by $800,000 in donations, including $300,000 from a family who lost their 21-year-old daughter to opioid addiction.

Ohio Schools Stock Overdose Reversing Drug

Apr 11, 2018
IDEASTREAM

The U.S. Surgeon General has issued an advisory, encouraging more Americans to carry the overdose reversing drug naloxone. It comes in the form of an injection or a nasal spray, known as Narcan, and is regularly carried by firefighters, EMTs and police officers. The antidote is also becoming more and more common in Ohio schools.

Photo of the Global Center
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU public radio

Cleveland’s biomedical leaders are looking at how the private sector can help fight the opioid epidemic.

Local business development group BioEnterprise is teaming with the international consulting firm Accenture to help health care providers find ways to improve addiction treatment and prevention.

CEO Aram Nerpouni says while lawmakers and law enforcement have so far led the response to the opioid crisis, the private sector needs to assess its role.

Pages