Heroin

April Laissle

Montgomery County has the second highest heroin overdose rate in the state of Ohio. It’s a problem that has left commissioners from the City of Dayton and Montgomery County desperate for answers.

 

At a crowded joint meeting held to discuss the epidemic, representatives from area health organizations explained the hard facts of the issue, and why tackling it has become so complex.

The coroner in southwest Ohio's largest county says overdose deaths from the powerful painkiller fentanyl have overtaken heroin deaths.
 
Hamilton County coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco says overdose deaths in the county totaled 414 in 2015. That's about a 40 percent increase over the previous year.
 
Sammarco says 238 deaths were fentanyl-related and 198 were heroin-related. A coroner's spokesman adds that there was some overlap, with some of those deaths involving both drugs.
 

A Decade Of Dope: One Woman Recalls Seeking Out Heroin

Apr 3, 2016
Woman's Voices prison dayton correctional
Juliet Fromholt / WYSO

Aimee Wissman is three years into an eight-year sentence at Dayton Correctional Institution for crimes related to her heroin addiction. As an artist, she idolized famous musicians and writers who were known heroin addicts, and she thought that particular drug would be her ticket into their glamorous lifestyle.

In this story, Aimee Wissman is interviewed by fellow DCI resident Melody Williams about her decade of drug addiction.

Highlights from the audio:

Kroger in Huber Heights. Experts say if customers show they are willing to drive a few miles to a suburban location, it takes away the incentive for chains to build in limited downtown space. grocery store food
Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr/Creative Commons

Ohio-based Kroger Co. has announced they will sell the overdose antidote naloxone, beginning Monday, February 15th. 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman attended a news conference to announce the move on Friday.

CVS announced earlier this month it would make naloxone available without a prescription at all of its pharmacies in Ohio beginning next month.

Naloxone is routinely carried by fire-rescue crews, which use it thousands of times a year in Ohio to revive overdose victims.

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.

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.

A pharmacy in a southwest Ohio county hit hard by deadly heroin overdoses has become one of the first in the state approved to dispense a potentially life-saving heroin overdose medicine.

PHDMC

As WYSO reported in June, in Montgomery County heroin overdoses climbed 226 percent from 2010 to 2014.  2015 numbers aren’t out yet, but they are expected to be up as well. With those high rates in mind, a Fairborn Municipal Court judge has started a new program to tackle the problem. Judge Beth Root spearheaded the new drug court program and talked to WYSO’s Jerry Kenney how it works.

Opiate Addiction Conversation for Change Wednesday

Aug 11, 2015
punchingjudy / Flickr Creative Commons

  East End Community Services is hosting the fourth in a series of events to address opiate addiction on Wednesday, August 12th. The event is a partnership with Dayton Mediation Center, ADAMHS, Good Samaritan Hospital, Samaritan Behavioral Health, Cornerstone Project, and the Dayton Police Department.

Jan Lepore-Jentleson is the executive director of East End. She says they started trying to help local addicts two years ago.

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