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 ResQ-Grip gloves
PH&S PRODUCTS

A Stark County company has come up with a glove that's resistant to fentanyl -- one of the drugs that first responders have increasingly been exposed to when treating opioid overdose victims.

needle and syringe
Psychonaught / commons.wikimedia.org

The Mahoning Valley has been one of the hardest hit areas in the state by the ongoing opioid crisis. As local officials continue to struggle to find ways to reduce the number of fatal overdoses, one program being tried in other parts of Northeast Ohio may provide some relief. As part of the media collaboration, Your Voice Mahoning Valley, we look at whether needle exchanges could provide a solution to the problem of opioid addiction.

 

 

DOUG OPLINGER / TWITTER

Your Voice Mahoning Valley grows from a belief that the people are not being heard and that solutions to problems they face are not receiving adequate attention. The project is part of a statewide effort begun in late 2015 as Ohio news organizations worked together, experimenting with new ways to represent the people of Ohio in the 2016 election.

Measuring the Impact of Opiate Addiction in Ohio

Oct 9, 2017
screenshot of Cincinatti overdose tracker
CITY OF CINCINATTI

A Gannett Newspapers reporter who was part of a team of journalists observing the opioid epidemic across Ohio in July  wrote this about paramedics in Newark near Columbus attempting to revive a man from an overdose:

“They’ve tried spraying naloxone into his nostrils, but it’s had no effect. He’s not breathing. They’re running out of time.

There's about 10 feet between Judge Craig Hannah's courtroom bench and the place where a defendant stands to be arraigned here in Buffalo City Court.

But for 26-year-old Caitlyn Stein, it has been a long, arduous 10 feet.

"This is your first day back! Good to see you!" Judge Hannah says as he greets her.

"Good to see you," Stein says, smiling.

"We've got to do that after picture. We did the before," Judge Hannah reminds her.

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