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$econd Chance: The Economic Case For Drug Treatment Over Jails

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Imagine living and working somewhere designed to fit a couple hundred people. Now picture that same space crammed with twice that number. Madison County, Kentucky, Jailer Doug Thomas doesn’t have to imagine it. He lives it. “I’m doing all that I can with what I have to work with, which is not a lot,” he… Read More

Survey Finds Teen Use Of Opioids Declining

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A survey produced by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found a rare bit of good news about the opioid crisis: fewer teenagers reported using opioids outside of medical purposes. The Monitoring the Future Survey 2017 results show a continued trend in decreased misuse of opioids by teens that dates to the early 2000s. Public health officials say that’s… Read More

Addiction U: Schools Form Research Consortium On Opioid Epidemic

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At a conference last year on the region’s opioid crisis, journalist Sam Quinones presented a call to action to Northern Kentucky University. Quinones is author of the influential book on the opioid crisis, “Dreamland,” and a tireless speaker on the topic. At conferences and other events in the Ohio Valley he frequently makes a plea: create… Read More

Little Regional Coordination As Trump Unveils Delayed Opioid Emergency Plan

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Many lawmakers from the Ohio Valley region say they’ll be at the White House Thursday as President Donald Trump is expected to unveil a long-awaited emergency declaration to address the opioid crisis. The president is scheduled to speak on the issue 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon. However, health officials and addiction treatment experts in Kentucky, Ohio and West… Read More

A gavel lays on top of money

Opioids On Trial: Can Lawsuits Help Fix The Addiction Crisis?

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When health care and law enforcement officials met recently at a health policy forum in Lexington, Kentucky, to share ideas about the opioid crisis, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear listed some groups that have benefited from money won in a 2015 settlement with Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. “We had Freedom House in Louisville and… Read More

Trump Declares Opioid Crisis Emergency: Ohio Valley Reacts

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Days after sending mixed signals on his response to the nation’s opioid crisis, President Donald Trump said Thursday that he plans to declare a national emergency to better address the epidemic. “We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of money on the opioid crisis,” the president said,… Read More

Heart Of The Matter: Needle Drug Use Brings Spike In Heart Infections

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The Ohio Valley’s addiction crisis has brought another health problem, as rising numbers of needle drug users are contracting a serious form of heart infection called endocarditis. The rate of endocarditis doubled in the region over a decade, and many patients require repeated, expensive treatment and surgery as they return to drug use and once… Read More

Born Addicted: The Race To Treat The Ohio Valley’s Drug-Affected Babies

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She asked to not be identified. And it’s understandable given the stigma attached to addiction. For this story, we’ll call her “Mary.” Mary lives in eastern Kentucky and has struggled with an addiction that began with painkillers and progressed to heroin. “As soon as I opened my eyes, I had to get it,” Mary said…. Read More

CASA: Caring For Kids Caught In The Addiction Crisis


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W The Ohio Valley’s opioid epidemic has effects far beyond the individuals struggling through addiction, with families and children suffering as well. An organization that helps children in abuse cases now sees substance abuse as a leading contributor, and could be overwhelmed by the addiction crisis. Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children —CASA for short—… Read More