The state pharmacy board says two-thirds of Ohio's retail pharmacies now offer the drug overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription.

Giant Eagle and Rite Aid stores were recently added to the list, increasing the number to 1,374 pharmacies in 84 of Ohio's 88 counties. The counties not represented are Holmes, Morgan, Noble and Vinton counties.

The mother and grandmother of a teen who died from a heroin overdose at an Ohio hotel are scheduled to be sentenced for giving the 16-year-old the drugs that killed him.

Prosecutors say the grandmother delivered the drugs that her daughter and a friend used with the teen at a hotel in suburban Akron.

Investigators say Andrew Frye was found dead last April in a chair inside the hotel room that was littered with syringes and drug paraphernalia.

Tom Kavana/Flickr Creative Commons

The head of a Cincinnati-area drug task force is calling on the state to declare a public health emergency to free up more resources for fighting heroin.

After a recent spike of overdoses, Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan, who heads the task force, is calling the situation a public health crisis. 

Police in Cincinnati are asking for the public's help in finding the source of the suspected heroin behind an estimated 78 overdoses in just two days this week.

Authorities believe the same batch is linked to three recent deaths.

They say there were an estimated 78 overdoses on Tuesday and Wednesday and a total of 174 overdoses in emergency rooms within the past week.

Local officials are calling it a public health emergency.

Thomas Marthinsen

Drug overdose deaths are still on the rise in Montgomery County according to first quarter 2016 numbers.

The Montgomery County Poisoning Death Review tracks and analyzes unintentional drug overdose deaths. According to its report, early 2016 saw a 130% increase in the number of drug overdose deaths in the County compared to the first quarter of 2015.

The report indicates a 26% increase in deaths from illicit Fentanyl in the community. 

Ohio troopers say they seized about seven times as much heroin during the first half of 2016 as they did during the same period last year.

The State Highway Patrol attributes the increase at least in part to several large drug busts.

The rise comes amid other signs that Ohio's opiate problems continue to grow. The Cleveland area saw 15 overdose deaths in a recent three-day span that were attributed to heroin, the synthetic opiate fentanyl or a combination of those.

Customs officials in Cincinnati seized 10 pounds of heroin in one summer shipment.

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.