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.

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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.

Your Voice Mahoning Valley Puts Focus on Opioid Crisis

Oct 1, 2017
Your Voice Mahoning Valley logo
YOUR VOICE OHIO

Three reporters in the Mahoning Valley, Renee Fox, Jordyn Grzelewski, and Lindsay McCoy, have worked aggressively in recent years exposing the death and destruction wrought by the heroin crisis, yet despite their dire warnings on television, on the web and in newspapers, the situation here has worsened dramatically.

crowd at rally for recovery poses
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

Every day, 11 people die as a result of Ohio's opioid crisis. Recovering drug addicts and people from services that help them gathered on the Statehouse lawn today to draw attention to the problem. 

Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services Director Tracy Plouck says even though the number of deaths continues to increase year over year, the state is making some headway in the fight against opioids.

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