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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (OVR) — New research shows that deaths due to the mix of substance use disorder and suicides known as “diseases of despair” declined slightly in 2018. But the mortality rates throughout the Ohio Valley and Appalachian region are still higher than the national average. A report from the Appalachian Regional Commission found that overall… Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Like millions of Americans, Diane Urban watched the first presidential debate last month at home with her family. When it was over, she turned off the television and climbed into the bed her 25-year-old son Jordan used to sleep in. It was where she found Jordan’s lifeless body after he overdosed… Read More
Thousands of lawsuits that ground to a halt because of COVID-19 are moving forward again as local, state and federal courts reopen around the U.S.
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (OVR) — Emergency response data from across the Ohio Valley show sharp increases in suspected drug overdoses since March, when health measures including school and business closures and stay-at-home orders increased social isolation. For public health officials, it’s a grim reminder that another epidemic is ongoing and possibly worsening during the isolation associated with… Read More
Even though Vinton County, Ohio, hasn’t had high infection rates of the coronavirus, social restrictions have made it harder to keep drug users and their children safe, says Trecia Kimes-Brown.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – People with opioid use disorder will soon be able to get free public transit to West Virginia treatment centers under a new health department initiative. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said Wednesday the program with the West Virginia Public Transit Association will begin on March 2. The… Read More
Tammy’s struggle with substance use started with pain pills she found in her grandmother’s cabinet. Then it escalated to heroin. “It’s a full time job,” she says. “Most people think that’s not a full time job but it is. When you’re addicted to anything, then you’re working at it every day. Trying to make sure… Read More
SHANGHAI (AP) — Officially, China doesn’t have an opioid problem like the United States. But largely out of sight of the government, addicts exist. A government survey taken in 2016 shows just 11,132 cases of medical drug abuse were reported in a population of nearly 1.4 billion. But even the Chinese government admits it doesn’t… Read More
After years of leading the nation in overdose death rates, Ohio Valley communities are looking for new ways to deal with the addiction crisis. A national nonprofit organization promotes and partners with programs that do just that. The Addiction Policy Forum celebrated new ideas at events in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia to honor programs selected in their Innovations to Address… Read More
The opioid epidemic is intergenerational, with tens of thousands of babies born every year dependent on opioids. Advocates worry lawsuits against the drug industry might overlook these children.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia is suing two more opioid makers claiming the companies mispresented the risks of their drugs. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced the suits against Endo Health Solutions and Mallinckrodt on Wednesday. The cases were filed in Boone County court and seek monetary penalties. The lawsuits accuse the drugmakers and their… Read More
ROANOKE, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia University’s School of Public Health is working with partners across the state on a symposium on the opioid epidemic. Assistant Professor Lindsay Allen says the rate of drug overdose deaths involving opioids doubled between 2010 and 2017. Allen says extra effort is needed to find ways to address the… Read More
Ohio law permits pharmacists to give the overdose drug Naloxone without a prescription to people who deal with those with an opioid use disorder. But one state lawmaker says many pharmacists are not doing that. Democratic Sen. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) is sponsoring a bill that would require the State Board of Pharmacy to educate pharmacists about… Read More
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia physician has been sentenced to probation for writing fraudulent prescriptions so he could get drugs. Chad Poage also was ordered Monday in federal court in Clarksburg to complete 500 hours of community service. Poage admitted writing 30 fraudulent prescriptions between 2015 and 2018. Prosecutors say he obtained a… Read More
As the courts consider various lawsuits against drugmakers, researchers estimate what opioid addiction is costing our economy and what it would take to end the crisis.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The public can drop off unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs at more than 110 collection sites across West Virginia this weekend. Law enforcement officials are participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Dropoff locations can be found online . The collection… Read More
Johnson & Johnson says it has set aside $4 billion for its share of a proposed multistate agreement to settle opioid litigation, a step that forced it to slash its recently reported financial results. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Wednesday, J&J said the charge cuts third-quarter net income from $4.8 billion to $1.8… Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday that he has convened a meeting with the state attorney general and lawyers for cities and counties involved in the national opioid litigation to discuss how millions in settlement dollars might be spent. The Republican governor told The Associated Press he expects about 90 people… Read More
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Four more public forums are set this week on a statewide response to substance abuse in West Virginia. The meetings are scheduled for Monday at the University of Charleston student union ballroom, Tuesday at the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office training center in Martinsburg, Wednesday at Wheeling University’s Swint Hall and Thursday… Read More
CLEVELAND (AP) — The nation’s three dominant drug distributors and a big drugmaker have reached a tentative deal to settle a lawsuit related to the opioid crisis just as the first federal trial over the crisis was due to begin Monday, according to a lead lawyer for the local governments suing the drug industry. The… Read More
At a town hall event in Logan, Ohio, Kelly Taulbee walks through the steps of an encounter with someone experiencing an opioid overdose. She’s training a group to use NARCAN, the opioid reversal medication. She pulled out the small applicator and demonstrated how easy it is to spray the medication in someone’s nose. As the director… Read More
CLEVELAND (AP) — With a trial looming, major drug distributors and manufacturers are pressing to settle thousands of claims against them related to the nation’s persistent opioid crisis. The companies are negotiating with state attorneys general as jury selection is expected to wrap up on Thursday in the first federal trial over an overdose epidemic… Read More
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Public forums will be held starting this week on a statewide response to substance use in West Virginia. The first will be Tuesday at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. Other forums are scheduled for Wednesday at the West Virginia University-Parkersburg campus, Oct. 21 at the University of Charleston student union ballroom… Read More
A federal appeals court in Cincinnati has rejected Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s request to delay the October 21 start for the huge opioid trial in federal court in Cleveland. Three judges from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals declined the request from Yost and a dozen other attorneys general and the US Chamber of Commerce. They had… Read More
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Two grants totaling more than $900,000 are supporting new West Virginia Family Treatment Courts aimed at helping children and parents affected by substance use disorders. The four courts were authorized by a new law this year. A state Supreme Court news release says they’re set up to protect children and help… Read More