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Your Voice Ohio

Your Voice Ohio is a collaborative effort to produce more relevant, powerful journalism based on the needs and ambitions of Ohioans and Ohio communities. Your Voice Ohio is an initiative of WYSO and more than 30 news organizations across Ohio.

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The Montgomery County overdose death rate remains historically high, with at least 559 deaths countywide this year as of November, as reported by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
Indigo Life / Indigo Life

The number of accidental overdose deaths in Montgomery County has been trending downward in recent months.

Mental health and addiction advocates from the county’s collaborative Community Overdose Action Team say intensive efforts to address the opioid epidemic are beginning to have an impact.

On Thursday in Dayton, advocates presented excerpts from the county’s new Voices Project partnership, part of a national video project to share the stories of people touched by the epidemic.

Opioid overdose survivors can experience physical and mental health problems, long after they're revived with naloxone.
Renee Wilde / WYSO

In Springfield, most calls to the city’s 911 emergency switchboard are related to an opioid overdose.

Some overdose victims will die. Many others will be saved with the fast-acting overdose reversal drug Narcan.

But, for some surviving overdose victims, that’s not the end of the story. An overdose can leave behind lasting mental and physical scars, advocates say.

The​ ​drug​ ​Narcan​ ​can​ ​seem​ ​like​​ ​magic​.​ ​Just​ ​one shot​ ​of​ ​the​ ​powerful​ medicine ​can​ ​literally​ ​bring​ ​an overdose victim ​back​ ​from​ ​the​ ​dead.​

Staff at the nonprofit Springfield addiction-treatment agency McKinley​ ​Hall are participating in a new approach to opioid overdose.
Renee Wilde / WYSO

Clark County has seen a record number of overdose deaths this year. But widespread use of the antidote ​Narcan is also allowing many people who overdose to survive and use again, increasing their risk of dying the next time.

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County

Unintentional drug overdose deaths in Montgomery County for 2017 now stand at 499. The numbers were released during a monthly update from Public Health Dayton & Montgomery County, and Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) on Thursday.

In September there were 33 accidental drug overdoses logged by the county. Those deaths have been trending downward since a spike in May when there were 80 deaths recorded.

State officials have enacted new regulations to curb what they say is overprescribing of opioid painkiller medications to patients who may not really need them
Chaos

Ohio’s opioid crisis continues to escalate. In an effort to curb the epidemic, the state is launching a new program designed to help spot criminal activity and prescription drug abuse.

 

Since 2006, Ohio has been collecting information on all prescriptions for controlled substances, including those prescribed by doctors and those dispensed by pharmacies. The data is tracked in the so-called Automated Rx Reporting System, also known as OARRS.

Ohio Department of Health numbers show in 2015, roughly six babies a day were admitted to Ohio hospitals for NAS.
Wikimedia Commons / WYSO

The state's first treatment center for drug-exposed babies is set to open next month in Kettering. Brigid’s Path aims to provide inpatient medical care for newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome, also known as NAS.

 

Organizers say Brigid’s Path was created in response to the opioid crisis in Dayton.

Emily Surico, program manager for drug and crime prevention at East End Community Services, says the clinic will provide the kind of specialty care that many hospitals aren’t necessarily equipped for.

 

The Cincinnati Enquirer sent reporters into the field for seven days to report on the heroin crisis. They returned with an alarming snapshot of a national epidemic.

Sandra Lamb is the second person to graduate from the U-Turn Recovery Court. The first is David Key. Judge John Rudduck stands between the two in this photo.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Overdose deaths continue to rise in Southwest Ohio, and the opioid epidemic is taking a toll on courts as more and more addicts end up behind bars for drug-related crimes. To help mitigate overcrowding, some Miami Valley counties are launching special drug courts. The courts offer nonviolent addicts a chance to avoid jail and get the services they need to stay clean and out of trouble for good—but it’s no easy fix.

Sandy

State officials have enacted new regulations to curb what they say is overprescribing of opioid painkiller medications to patients who may not really need them
Chaos

Beginning this week, Ohio, doctors, dentists and nurses will be required to follow new rules for prescribing opioid medications.

The rules include limits to opioid prescriptions for conditions such as broken bones, sprains and minor surgery to seven days for adults and five days for minors.

The changes are similar to those already enacted in a handful of other states, including Rhode Island, Virginia and New Jersey.

State officials have enacted new regulations to curb what they say is overprescribing of opioid painkiller medications to patients who may not really need them
Chaos

Montgomery County mental health officials say the Medicaid cuts proposed in the Senate bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, The Better Care Reconciliation Act, could reduce the county’s ability to deliver addiction treatment services. Montgomery County has one of the highest rates of drug-overdose deaths per capita in the United States.

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