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The Doctor And The Epidemic: Three Years At Ground Zero Of The Opioid Crisis

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When Dr. Rahul Gupta started work as West Virginia’s chief health officer his state was already ground zero for the opioid epidemic, with some of the nation’s highest rates of addiction and overdose fatalities. That was 2015, and 735 state residents died from overdoses that year. Preliminary data for 2017 show there were 1,011 overdose deaths… Read More

New Ohio Data Show Sharp Increase In Overdose Deaths From The Opioid Fentanyl

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New official state data from the Ohio Department of Health show 4,854 people died of drug overdoses in 2017, a 20 percent increase from the previous year. The new data add to evidence from around the Ohio Valley showing deaths related to the opioid crisis continued to rise in 2017 as state records begin to reflect the… Read More

Surgeon General Says Opioid Crisis Requires Fight Against Stigma

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In a comprehensive new report on the opioid crisis, the U.S. surgeon general writes that stigma remains a major barrier to treatment and urges a more supportive approach to those in need. Surgeon General Jerome Adams wrote in his Spotlight on Opioids report that stigma has prevented people with opioid use disorders from seeking treatment. “The way… Read More

Senate Opioids Bill Takes Aim At Fentanyl Imports

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The U.S. Senate has approved a bipartisan package to address the nation’s opioid crisis with more resources for addiction treatment and recovery and an emphasis on stopping the flow of the the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl. The Senate approved the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 by a 99-1 vote Monday night including a version of Ohio… Read More

The New DARE: Schools Aim To Stop Next Generation Of Opioid Crisis

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New data from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health show a rare bright spot amid the opioid crisis. Fewer high schoolers in the region appear to be using opioids in the past year. School officials in the Ohio Valley want to continue that trend with more school-based programs designed to help prevent… Read More

Rural Risk: Mobile Clinics Help Tackle Multifaceted Opioid Crisis

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In a room at the Letcher County Health Department in Whitesburg, Kentucky, about 20 people are learning how to use naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medication. Among them is 18-year-old Morgan Hopkins. An aspiring therapist, Hopkins said she wants to be ready with naloxone if someone overdoses around her. “You never know what you’re going… Read More

Your Voice Ohio Collaborative Seeking Solutions To Opioid Crisis

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An Ohio-based collaborative thinks journalists can play a bigger role in solving the region’s opioid crisis. The effort starts with listening to people in some of the hardest-hit communities. A group of about 50 people gathered in a small building at the fairgrounds in Marietta, Ohio, to share their thoughts on the region’s opioid crisis… Read More

Back To The Garden: How Green Thumbs Help With Addiction Recovery

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Meredith Jensen is doing some gardening on a sunny day in a secluded part of Athens, Ohio. “I’m working on our pollinator garden beds,” she said. “Which are a bunch of fun flowers that’ll help attract butterflies, bumble bees, you name it.” Her partner Jamie Betit pushes a full wheel barrow to fill the other… Read More

House Committee Questions Opioid Distributors About Flood Of Pain Pills

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Legislators grilled representatives from five major opioid distributors Tuesday on how painkillers flooded West Virginia under their watch. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing came as part of an investigation into why Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, Miami-Luken and H.D. Smith failed to report suspiciously large orders of opioid painkillers at the beginning of the addiction… Read More

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CDC Outlines Plan To Address Ohio Valley’s Opioids Crisis

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President Donald Trump’s call to implement the death penalty for drug traffickers grabbed headlines Monday. But public health officials within the Trump administration are stressing other elements of the president’s plan to address the opioid crisis. Acting Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Anne Schuchat, outlined her agency’s plans for the… Read More