opioid abuse

Some Ohio lawmakers are pushing five different bills they say will deal with the state’s opioid abuse problem in a comprehensive way. 

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.

photo of public health cabinet
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

In his State of the State speech, Governor Mike DeWine said he will have a team of cabinet members dedicated to dealing with public health including opioid abuse, mental health services and the health of families. That idea is getting good reviews right now.

Rep. Richard Brown
Jo Ingles / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Democrats in the Ohio House say they plan to introduce a bill in the lame duck session of the legislature later this year that would, among other things, create a cabinet level position to deal with drug policy. 

Rep. Richard Brown says Gov. John Kasich’s executive order to create an opioid action team is only temporary.

photo of opioid pills and bottles
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A task force of eight health insurers convened by the Ohio Attorney General’s office has come up with 15 recommendations on how they can help with Ohio’s deadly opioid crisis. Their list includes proposals on prevention, intervention and treatment of opioid addiction.

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.

photo of Sherrod Brown
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Sen. Sherrod Brown has introduced legislation to address what he says is a growing problem for employers and for people getting treatment for addiction.

Earlier this week, the senator called for a comprehensive public health campaign to combat the opioid epidemic.

Jeff Sessions
Screen capture of press conference

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and his counterparts from a half dozen other states joined U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to announce the next steps in the battle against opioid addiction. 

Sessions announced the federal government will join Ohio and hundreds of other local and state governments suing the companies that make and distribute opioid drugs.

photo of Jimmy Gould
JO INGLES / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

One of the three people who plan  to build a medical marijuana campus in Southwest Ohio thinks the drug can be used to treat one of the state’s biggest problems – opioid abuse.

Jimmy Gould, an investor who also served on the task force that developed Ohio’s medical marijuana law, thinks pot can be used to relieve symptoms of withdrawal from opioid use. Under Ohio’s new law, medical marijuana isn’t approved for that purpose; Gould thinks it should be.

photo of Jerry Craig
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Summit County residents struggling with addiction now have a help line to assist them with finding treatment.

The Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board is launching its help line on Tuesday morning. 

Callers will be asked questions regarding their age, location and other factors to determine which agencies might best help them.

Executive Director Jerry Craig says data will be collected on the success rate and wait times for treatment to better gauge the capacity of local service providers.

photo of Oriana House
K2M DESIGN

Drug overdoses at Oriana House have led parents of clients to approach Akron City Council for help.

Oriana’s Executive Vice President Bernie Rochford appeared before a City Council joint committee meeting this week to answer questions about overdoses at the drug treatment facility, some of which were fatal.

Ohio Health Issues Poll

More than one-fourth of Ohioans say they have friends or family members who are abusing prescription pain relievers, and nearly as many say they know someone abusing heroin. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more from the latest Ohio Health Issues Poll.

The survey shows close to a third of white women in Ohio have friends or family abusing painkillers or heroin. Kelly Firesheets of the Health Issues Poll says that’s grown significantly since the 2014 survey – and is higher than any other single group.

photo of Chuck Rosenberg
DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY

The director of the Drug Enforcement Administration came to Cleveland Monday to talk about the opioid and fentanyl epidemic.

photo of Cindy Koumoutzis
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

International Overdose Awareness Day is this Wednesday, and one Stark County group marked the occasion this weekend.

On Saturday in Canton, Ohio Change Addiction Now hosted an event to raise awareness that addiction is a disease that can affect the entire family.

Cindy Koumoutzis from North Canton is co-founder of the group’s Ohio chapter. She says recovery starts at home, and families need to work with those in recovery to rebuild trust and reconnect with spouses and siblings.

Kasich Says Ohio is Getting a Handle on Opioid Abuse

Aug 25, 2016
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Ohio averaged more than eight accidental drug overdose deaths a day last year. But Gov. John Kasich says the state is getting a handle on the problem, beginning with controlling abuse of prescription painkillers.

Speaking to a group of judges and other high-ranking officials in Cincinnati from nine states hit hard by heroin, Gov. John Kasich says it's easy to see how the epidemic began: the over-prescription of dangerous drugs.

He remembers when bed rest at home and ice cream was the follow-up treatment when people had their wisdom teeth pulled.

photo of Michael Botticelli
THE WHITE HOUSE

The head of National Drug Control Policy is highlighting the challenges the country is facing when it comes to opioid abuse and addiction.

Tuesday, Michael Botticelli focused on efforts in Ohio to fight the problem.

Botticelli says the president’s budget includes over a billion dollars to fight opioid abuse. $45 million dollars could go to Ohio.

During a conference call, he was joined by Dayton police chief Richard Biehl.

Beating Ohio's Heroin Epidemic Begins In Kindergarten

Jun 28, 2016
Danica Juillerat
KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

The latest Ohio Department of Health figures show more than 2,500 Ohioans died of heroin or fentanyl overdoses in 2014. And those number are rising. Exasperated health and law enforcement officials say they cannot arrest or treat Ohio out of this growing crisis. Many believe one of the most viable ways to stem the epidemic is with comprehensive, consistent education in kindergarten through 12th grade.

photo of Anita Bradley
NORTHERN OHIO RECOVERY ASSOCIATION

The White House this week will recognize 10 "Champions of Change.” And one of them is the executive director of a Cleveland drug and alcohol abuse treatment center.