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Environment & Energy
00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69e980000Day 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.00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69e980001

BCI to Outsource Work Due to High Opioid Caseload

photo of BCI crime lab
BUREAU OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION/OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL

Ohio’s opioid crisis is causing problems for the state’s crime lab. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which processes chemical evidence for cases throughout Ohio, is having a hard time getting everything done on a timely basis. So the lab has come up with a solution.

BCI Superintendent Tom Stickrath says the crime lab is not only handling more cases because of the opioid crisis, it’s also handling more complicated cases.

“We’ve been adding staff as we have recognized this issue over the last twelve months or so. We’ve been adding some equipment, adding some staff but we are also going to outsource some of this work.”

Strickrath says some work will be outsourced to some coroners' labs in Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties. He says the legislature gave BCI and other crime labs about $2 million to pay for this expanded effort.