WYSO

Opioid Epidemic

FOA Founder and Executive Director, Lori Erion with fellow FOA supporters.
FOA

Lori Erion knows about addiction. Erion is the founder and executive director of Families of Addicts (FOA), an organization dedicated to helping families who are on the front lines of the current opioid crisis. 

She is also a certified Ohio Peer Recovery Supporter. PRS is a program of the Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services. The program is a convention of “peer specialists, recovery coaches, and peer supporters.”

www.heroinaddiction.com

Montgomery County health officials say the number of drug overdoses is rising.

Montgomery is among seven counties across Ohio that are seeing a spike in recent drug-related emergency room visits and overdoses this summer.

The county reports that between July 26 and July 30, there has been an increase in the number of drug overdose encounters in Butler, Hamilton, Lake, Lorain, Lucas, Montgomery and Stark counties, with a total of 63 drug-related emergency room visits, 39 accidental overdoses and 24 other drug-related visits.  

CareSource is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio medicaid affordable care act
Joshua Chenault / WYSO

Ohio's largest Medicaid plan says the amount of opioids prescribed to its members has decreased 40 percent over the past 18 months.

CareSource announced Monday it plans to reduce that number by 50 percent by the end of this year.

The Dayton-based organization privately manages 1.8 million Medicaid plans. It says it notifies providers who prescribe a large amount of opioids to members, and can identify members at risk for substance misuse.

Activists protest Dayton's pedestrian safety ordinance at city commission meeting held May 23.
April Laissle / WYSO

The Dayton City Commission recently passed a law effectively banning panhandling along 51 major roadways. It’s not the first time the city has passed laws curbing the practice. Now, some legal advocates are already raising questions about the city’s new pedestrian safety ordinance.

At the May 23 city commission meeting, Mayor Nan Whaley was clear: the ordinance is not about panhandling.

“Nothing in this ordinance criminalizes holding a sign on the side of a roadway,” the mayor said.

Artist Jes McMillan founded the nonprofit Mosaic Institute of Greater Dayton.
Mosaic Institute of Greater Dayton

A Dayton artist is working on a new way to memorialize victims of the nation’s devastating opioid epidemic.

The project would create a memorial wall made of hand-cut mosaic tiles, called the  “Wall of Perseverance.”

The memorial is the brainchild of mosaic artist Jes McMillan, founder of the Mosaic Institute of Greater Dayton

Allison Herrera/PRI / PRI

It’s a chilly March afternoon in Marysville, Ohio, and I’m riding around on a golf cart with Clara Golding Kent, the public information officer for the Ohio Reformatory for Women.

It’s right after "count," when officials make sure the women serving time at Ohio's oldest prison are where they're supposed to be. Just now, the women here are heading to lunch, jobs and classes, or socializing in the yard.

The Franklin County Coroner's Office has recorded a "dramatic increase" in overdose deaths, a total of 18 in one week.  

In a refrigerator in the coroner’s office in Marion County, Indiana, rows of vials await testing. They contain blood, urine and vitreous, the fluid collected from inside a human eye. In overdose cases, the fluids may contain clues for investigators. 


U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar with Brigid's Path Executive Director, Jill Kingston (right) and foster parent and advocate Cyndi Swafford.
Jerry Kenney

United States Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was in Dayton Friday to attend a listening session on opioids at Brigid’s Path in Kettering, an inpatient treatment facility that specializes in caring for drug-exposed newborns.

 

Following morning discussions, Azar reaffirmed to reporters the Trump administration’s commitment to fighting the opioid crisis.

 

On Tuesday, Montgomery County Judge Anthony Capizzi will lead a national panel discussion in Washington D.C. before Congressional leaders and legislative aides. The focus of the briefing is to raise awareness about the struggles many communities face as a result of the opioid epidemic.

 

Capizzi serves as president of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. The council, made up of judges from across the country, will also inform officials about local approaches to the crisis that are showing success.

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