Ohio opioid addiction

photo of U.S. Capitol Building
Sean Xu / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The impeachment debate is drawing a big line between Republicans and Democrats. But the parties are working together on some bills. 

Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is working on a bipartisan bill that he says would increase recycling. But he said voters don’t often hear about efforts like that.

“So much of the media is focused on controversy because, I guess, it sells," he said.

Editor's note: To protect the anonymity of the children in this story, we are not using their names.

Children are often called the hidden casualties of the opioid epidemic. They carry a lot of secrets and shame.

a photo of the university of Akron
UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

The opioid addiction crisis has far-reaching effects. The University of Akron has received a federal grant to help families dealing with a loved one’s addiction. Associate Professor of Counseling Rikki Patton said students will complete a training program and then get hands-on practice.

Despite the fact that needle exchange services have doubled in Ohio over the last three years, a new report finds, among other things, that opioid users continue to share needles.

Experts often blame illicit fentanyl for skyrocketing overdose deaths among illegal drug users. Now a series of deaths at an Ohio hospital is raising questions about oversight in prescribing pharmaceutical fentanyl.

photo of George Barrett Cardinal health CEO
C SPAN

Editor's note: The headline on this article has been changed to clarify Barrett's statement.

The chairman of Ohio-based drug distributor Cardinal Health apologized to members of Congress Tuesday. George Barrett joined four other drug-company executives in testifying about their role in the opioid crisis.

Opiates
Shutterstock

As opiate deaths continue to climb in Ohio, yet another deadly drug combination is making its rounds.

The “speedball,” a combination of heroin and cocaine, led to actor John Belushi’s death in the 1980’s. And the Ohio Health Department’s Dr. Mark Hurst says there’s a similar combination that’s responsible for the recent rash of opioid deaths in Ohio now. But this one involves something more potent that heroin.

“The potency of fentanyl is 50 times that of heroin and so it’s even more lethal in a dose than heroin would be.”

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

One way the state of Ohio is trying to combat the opioid crisis is by funding new technologies to prevent addiction.

Last month the University of Akron shared in $10 million in state grants as part of that initiative.

On this Week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at how a personal experience with opioids inspired a local researcher’s quest for new methods of pain relief.

Dan Konik

Drug addiction counselers are speaking out against a bill that would send an ex-convict to jail if they fail a drug test. They say this proposal uses the judicial system to solve a health-care crisis.

Lori Criss is with the Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Service Providers, which advocates for behavioral health services. She says the bill that proposes 30 days in jail when someone on probation tests positive for heroin is a step in the wrong direction. 

Northeast Oho Congressmen Tim Ryan and Dave Joyce are calling on the Trump administration to provide more funding for opioid relief.

Andrea Boxill, Mark Hurst, MD - Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Serevices
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Ohio has a federal grant of nearly a million dollars to spread the word about new ways to manage prescription pain killers and reduce opioid addiction. The public information project is called Take Charge Ohio, and this month it started rolling out an interactive website.