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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

Ohio's Rally For Recovery Puts Focus on Opioid Issues

crowd at rally for recovery poses
Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau

Every day, 11 people die as a result of Ohio's opioid crisis. Recovering drug addicts and people from services that help them gathered on the Statehouse lawn today to draw attention to the problem. 

Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services Director Tracy Plouck says even though the number of deaths continues to increase year over year, the state is making some headway in the fight against opioids.

“We have seen some progress in the number of prescription opioids prescribed in Ohio so we’ve got some metrics that are showing some progress.”

Plouck, one of the speakers at the annual Rally for Recovery event, says Ohio is spending more than a billion federal and state dollars for opioid abuse education and treatment.  The state has cracked down on so-called pill mills and painkiller prescriptions. But some addicts have replaced those pills with heroin and fentanyl. More than 4000 Ohioans died last year from opioid overdoses – a 33% increase from the previous year.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.