NEO opioid crisis

Poster on the wall
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

For some, the fight against the opioid epidemic is a national priority. For others, it’s a personal struggle.  WKSU’s M.L. Schultze takes us to a basement room in Massillon, where, for about an hour last week, the story of broad policy and personal battles intertwined.

DIMITRIS KALOGEROPOYLOS / FLICKR

Cuyahoga County Council has approved an additional $200,000 for this year’s medical examiners budget to deal with the rising number of fatal opioid overdoses.

photo of Fr. Bob Stec, Andy Klemm
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Congregations throughout the state heard about the state’s opioid problem over the weekend as part of a push from a church in Northeast Ohio.

Last year, Fr. Bob Stec of St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Brunswick presided over six funerals for opioid victims in less than a month, and early yesterday morning, he learned of another victim – a 30-year-old – among his parishioners at St. Ambrose in Brunswick.

JOHN ALLER
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Ohio is getting $26 million from the federal government to help fight the opioid epidemic. 

The CURES Act passed in the waning days of the Obama administration and promised a billion dollars over two years to improve monitoring, prevention and treatment. This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the first round of $485 million in grants to states.

Gibbs Portman at table
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Congressman Bob Gibbs toured a residential center in Massillon today that treats people addicted to opioids. They also heard arguments that the Medicaid expansion that many fellow Republicans oppose is crucial to such efforts. 

The tour was of two 100-year-old buildings on what used to be the grounds of Massillon State psychiatric hospital. They’ve been renovated and turned over to CommQuest services to provide detox, medication maintenance and residential treatment.

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