Drugs

Women's Voices dayton correctional institution
Juliet Fromholt / WYSO

Shannon Evans came to prison earlier this year after a three-year spiral into drug addiction. As she puts it, she used to be a “goody-two-shoes” and never imagined she’d end up strung out on heroin. But her story isn’t uncommon: the problem with prescription drugs and heroin has spiked in Ohio in the last few years, and the proportion of women killed by drug overdoses has also gone way up.

Nikkia Sullivan Wanted To Become A Kingpin, And Almost Succeeded

Apr 17, 2016
Women's Voices From DCI - Logo 1
Juliet Fromholt / WYSO

Nikkia Sullivan grew up wanting to be a kingpin. At 13 she set out to make her dream come true. In this story she talks to fellow inmate LeShae Landry about what it was like growing up in that lifestyle

Highlights from the audio:

“My day started at 8 p.m. That’s when my day started. Call my homeboys, whatever the case may be, like, you all got any licks for me? Ya got some money for me?”

An Ohio Senate panel is considering a bill that would give judges the option of suspending a driver's license for someone convicted of a drug charge instead of the suspension being mandatory.

Republican state Sen. Bill Seitz, of Cincinnati, says current law makes it difficult for hundreds of thousands of people in Ohio with suspended driver's licenses for drug convictions to find a job.

The legislation affects only drug convictions that don't involve driving. The bill is scheduled for another hearing in the Senate Government Oversight Committee on Tuesday.

Ohio must target anti-overdose interventions in eight counties that account for two of every three overdose deaths from the painkiller fentanyl, government scientists said Tuesday.

The state must also ensure widespread availability of an anti-overdose drug and that addicts have access to a variety of drug overdose prevention services, including clean needles when allowed by local policies, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Various Pills Medicine Overdose
Chaos

The state says the number of prescriptions being written for painkillers continues to fall as Ohio battles a deadly addictions epidemic.

Data released by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy Monday show 701 million painkiller pills were dispensed to Ohio patients last year, down 12 percent from a high of 793 million in 2012.

The data also show a 71 percent decrease in the number of patients going from doctor to doctor in search of drugs thanks to the pharmacy board's computerized reporting system.

www.heroinaddiction.com

The police on front lines of the nation's battle against deadly heroin are changing tactics and even redefining their roles in some communities.

In a suburban Cincinnati township and a northwest Ohio county, police in special teams try to intervene with users soon after overdose recovery. They want to steer them into treatment while near-death experiences are fresh, before they relapse.

A program that offers treatment-seeking addicts an amnesty is spreading to other states from a northern Massachusetts community's police department.

www.heroinaddiction.com

Ohio Department of Public Safety records indicate a drug overdose antidote that can help save addicts on the brink of death was administered more than 12,600 times around the state last year.

Naloxone blocks brain receptors, immediately pulling people out of a potentially fatal overdose.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill last year expanding availability of the drug. It let doctors authorize individuals to hand out a drug overdose antidote to addicts, their friends and family members without requiring a prescription.

Various Pills Medicine Overdose
Chaos

Ohio Gov. John Kasich and a coalition of state medical leaders have announced guidelines meant to reduce the prescribing of painkillers for short-term pain.

The guidelines recommend using alternatives to painkillers with addictive qualities when treating pain from injuries and surgery that generally lasts less than 12 weeks.

Dr. Mary DiOrio, medical director for the Ohio Department of Health, says the guidelines also call for the minimum number of pills needed when such drugs are deemed necessary.

www.heroinaddiction.com

Local county coroners are still pulling together totals for 2015 drug overdose fatalities, but most are already reporting higher numbers than the year before.

 

Clark, Greene, and Warren Counties counties all saw an increase in overdose fatalities in 2015 due to heroin and other opiate usage.

 

The exception, so far, is Montgomery County, where overdose death were down. The coroner there, Dr. Kent Harshbarger, says use of the anti-overdose medicine Narcan could be responsible for some of the decrease.

Various Pills Medicine Overdose
Chaos

Ohio lawmakers leading the fight to reduce the state's deadly addictions epidemic are backing a federal effort to curb the prescribing of painkillers.
 
Rep. Robert Sprague, a Findlay Republican, said Monday he's throwing his support behind proposed guidelines governing painkillers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
Sprague also called on anyone affected by drug abuse to contact the CDC to support the guidelines.
 

Pages