Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis

Keith Hochadel

One of the state’s most active addiction-treatment programs is expanding its services for women’s and outreach. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with the head of the Stark County nonprofit CommQuest about the half-million-dollar effort.

CommQuest provided detox, residential treatment and outpatient services to close to 6,000 people last year. That includes housing, counseling and treatment at Deliverance House, a 90-day women’s residential program in Canton. It often has a waiting list of more than a month.


More than a quarter of the 51,000 people in Ohio’s prisons are drug offenders, and the state is trying to figure out how to move some of them to treatment at the local level. In this installment of “Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis” WKSU’s M.L. Schultze looks closer at the evolution of the legal system from “lock them up” to “get them help.”

State of Ohio

Ohio has a big problem with opioids and with prison overcrowding. A system meant to handle fewer than 39,000 people is holding more than 51,000, and many are relatively low-level drug offenders. But, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports in this installment of our series, Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis, the justice system is looking to alternatives to tackle the problem.

Tonia Wright and Tugg Massa
Amanda Rabinowitz / WKSU

There are many stories of hope woven through the tragedies of Ohio’s opioid epidemic. In this installment of our series, Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis, WKSU's Amanda Rabinowitz looks at the range of recovery methods, from addicts simply helping each other out to structured treatment programs.  

photo of Fellowship Baptist Church

More people died in Ohio from an opioid overdose than any other state in the country in 2014, according to the latest national numbers from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Law enforcement, faith groups and other community leaders are trying to change that. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, they’re hoping that sharing as many ideas as possible can be a first step in overcoming the epidemic.

Opioids: Do drugs to fight drugs help or hurt?

Feb 7, 2017
EMS vehicles

When it comes to drug addiction, a challenge facing everyone from first responders to long-term caregivers is interrupting the cycle of dependency.  This installment of our series "Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis," looks at  overdose antidotes and replacement therapy.

Narcan kit

Narcan (also known as Naloxone) is a medication that can reverse an overdose caused by an opioid drug. Narcan blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and quickly restores breathing. 

Last year, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed legislation that expands the use of Narcan, making it available to schools, homeless shelters, halfway houses and treatment centers.


Last year was a record year for fatal overdoses in Ohio. And a big part of that spike was the sudden appearance of the deadly opioid carfentanil.

In this preview of our new series, "Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis," WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports the easy availability of powerful synthetics has marked a turning point in the ongoing epidemic.