Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis

Credit Layne Gerbig / WKSU

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.  

Support for Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis comes from Wayne Savings Community Bank, Kent State University Office of Continuing and Distance Education, Hometown Grocery Delivery, Mercy Medical Center, AxessPointe Community Health Center, Community Support Services, Inc., Medina County District Library and Hudson Community First.

Ways to Connect

DIMITRIS KALOGEROPOYLOS / FLICKR

John Carroll University is getting a $1.3 million federal grant to train graduate students as counselors in the battle against opioids.

The grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services go to medically underserved areas where people lack access to primary care or have high instances of infant mortality, mental health issues or drug abuse. Over the next four years, John Carroll will use the grant to place 80 grad students in some of those medically underserved areas.

photo of VA medical center
CLEVELAND VA MEDICAL CENTER

The U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs joined President Trump’s opioid task force at the Cleveland VA Medical Center on Thursday.  They were in town to hear from VA doctors on their best practices for pain management and opioid use. 

Tonia Wright and Tugg Massa
Amanda Rabinowitz / WKSU

Tugg Massa is one of the Ohioans who headed to Houston this week to help clean up after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. But as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports for Ohio Public Radio, the Akronite’s reason for the trip is tied as much to another crisis – the nation’s addiction crisis. 

photo of Al Landis
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

A community group in southeast Tuscarawas County is trying to get the attention of elected officials, police and fellow citizens to combat opioid abuse.

Dennison and Uhrichsville – known as the Twin Cities – have a combined population of about 8,000 people. One-hundred of them were at Thornwood Park yesterday as part of the group “Cleaning Up the 922” -- named for the area’s telephone exchange. They were discussing ways to address a growing opioid problem.

Cleveland State official seal
CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY

Cleveland State University has created a specialized research center to search for solutions to the opioid crisis.

The Center for Behavioral Health Sciences focuses on addiction science, policy research, education and links to mental illness. The center will work with local partners, like Saint Vincent Charity Medical Center.

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