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.
Cuyahoga County is facing a $33.5 million deficit in its Health and Human Services budget before its levy is up for renewal next year. The county is running out of money due in large part to the high numbers of children entering foster care as part of the ripple effect of the opioid crisis. The cost of foster care in Cuyahoga County is close to $5 million per month and growing, according to county officials at a Monday briefing.