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

photo of Hackett, Edwards, Weidle and Householder
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio lawmakers are pushing a bill they think will reduce opioid overdose deaths by setting prescribing guidelines for doctors and dentists.

Every day in Ohio, eight people die from opioid overdoses, according to the latest data from the Ohio Department of Health. And each day, 84 infants are treated for drug withdrawal in Ohio hospitals. Some Republicans are hoping a bill they are sponsoring will lower those numbers.

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Akron's St. Thomas Hospital was the first in the world to admit alcoholics for treatment. That was in the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous.

A doctor carrying on that tradition at that hospital today has an inside understanding of what it takes to get sober. On this Week’s Exploradio, Dr. Nicole Labor shares her insights on treating addiction .

KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan says as of this morning, neither Democrats nor Republicans know which way the vote on the GOP health care bill will go. But he says if it passes, it will hurt Ohioans who depend on Obamacare for pre-natal and mental health services, and those caught up in the opioid epidemic.

photo of Mike DeWine
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

With thousands of kids ending up in foster care because of the opioid crisis, the state is trying a pilot program to help children of addicted parents.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says what’s being called the START program will begin in 12 southern Ohio counties with some of the highest levels of abuse in the state.

KAREN KASLER / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

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.”

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