WYSO

Opioid Epidemic

Communities across the Midwest have been devastated by the opioid epidemic. But there's still a lot of misunderstanding about how opioids affect our bodies. A new and unusual museum exhibit is tackling this issue. 

While lawmakers from both parties battle over politics, there is some movement on bipartisan efforts to fight the deadly drug fentanyl in Congress. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) says his legislation to create sanctions on fentanyl will give federal officials the tools they need to crack down on opioid trafficking from other countries.

A constitutional amendment backed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to set up a way to distribute opioid settlement money through a statewide foundation won’t go before voters in March. 

Federal law mandates insurers treat mental health services like they would physical health care. But the sponsors of a new bill in the Ohio Legislature say that’s not happening. 

The Ohio Attorney General's office has crafted a proposal that would put guardrails around potential opioid lawsuit settlement money to make sure the funds are used specifically for the opioid epidemic.

Ohio law permits pharmacists to give the overdose drug Naloxone without a prescription to people who deal with opioid addicts. But one state lawmaker says many pharmacists are not doing that.

Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET

Three of the biggest U.S. drug distributors and a drug manufacturer have reached a last-minute deal with two Ohio counties to avoid what would have been the first trial in a landmark federal case on the opioid crisis.

Summit and Cuyahoga counties announced Monday morning that the tentative deal amounts to roughly $260 million.

At first glance, the people inside Franklin County Municipal Court room 13C have little in common. There’s a man in cutoff jean shorts with tattooed arms. Behind him sits a younger woman with freckles who looks like she came from soccer practice.

The group is bound together by circumstance: All were addicted to opioids and got in trouble with the law.

Editor's note: To protect the anonymity of the children in this story, we are not using their names.

Children are often called the hidden casualties of the opioid epidemic. They carry a lot of secrets and shame.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is backing a study to take an in-depth look at the genetic factors behind substance abuse disorder. Yost believes this will be a critical step towards data-based prevention efforts.

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