WYSO

Opioid Epidemic

Gov. Mike DeWine and leaders of his program to fight opioid abuse in Ohio are meeting with local advocates from around the state to share ideas. Here are some highlights from his most recent session in Columbus.

At least one person has died after contracting Hepatitis A in Montgomery County.
Victor, Flickr CC BY 2.0, unaltered image

The state of Ohio is in the midst of a national Hepatitis A outbreak. And Montgomery County health officials are urging people to get vaccinated and take other precautions to avoid becoming infected.

At least one person has died after contracting Hepatitis A in Montgomery County.

Public health department numbers show there are more than 200 Hepatitis A cases across the county this year.

Rebecca Thayer lives with her baby's father and friend in her first-ever apartment in Dayton.
Maddie McGarvey / WYSO

WYSO’s Recovery Stories series brings you intimate conversations from the heart of Dayton’s opioid epidemic.

In this story, we meet Susan Fitzpatrick and Rebecca Thayer, mother and daughter who describe themselves as best friends. Their voices even sound remarkably alike. 

Rebecca, who friends call Becky, is 35 years old and has nearly two years clean. Before entering recovery, her drug addiction led her to a life on the streets. 

Leanna Perez Green and her two sons. Perez Green's husband is retired from the Air Force. She says seeking drug treatment for her teenage son meant facing down stigma in the tight-knit Wright-Patterson military community.
Maddie McGarvey / WYSO

WYSO's Recovery Stories series brings you intimate conversations from the heart of Dayton’s opioid crisis. This episode introduces us to two women whose children have struggled with addiction: Becky Walsh and Leanna Perez Green.

Leanna’s husband is retired from the Air Force. She says seeking drug treatment for her teenage son meant facing down stigma in the tight-knit Wright-Patterson military community.

Friends Dustin Aubry and Bob Lloyd first met at a meeting of the Dayton support group Families of Addicts or FOA. Aubry is in recovery from longterm addiction, and Lloyd’s adult son has an active opioid addiction.
Maddie McGarvey / WYSO

WYSO’s Recovery Stories series brings you conversations from the heart of Dayton’s opioid crisis. Today, we hear a conversation between Dustin Aubry and Bob Lloyd.

They first met at a meeting of the Dayton support group Families of Addicts or FOA. Aubry is in recovery from longterm addiction, and Lloyd’s adult son has an active opioid addiction. 

Chronic pain patients at the Ohio Statehouse.
Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

Last year, Ohio changed its rules for prescribing opioids, restricting amounts of, and circumstances under which, doctors can prescribe those narcotics. The new rules have an exemption for people who are in hospice type care for diseases like cancer. But many patients who suffer from chronic pain say the new rules are leaving them without pain relief, resulting in unintended consequences.

Sarah Clay, a 31-year-old recovering heroin addict, with three of her four children
Maddie McGarvey / WYSO

WYSO’s Recovery Stories series brings you conversations from the heart of Dayton’s opioid crisis. Today, we meet Urbana 31-year-old Sarah Clay.

In 2007, Sarah met her husband Justin. 

“We worked together at a factory. We hit it off pretty quickly. We moved in and I was pregnant within four months,” Sarah says.

Their family grew to include four children. But everything soon changed when the couple fell deep into opioid addiction.  

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

4,854 people died of accidental drug overdoses in Ohio last year, according to official stats from the Ohio Department of Health. That’s more than 13 people a day, and a 20 percent increase over 2016. But, Gov. John Kasich says there is still some good news in those numbers.

Andre Lewis and his friend and recovery sponsor William Roberts, who works in social services in Dayton and is a church pastor with nearly three decades clean.
Maddie McGarvey / WYSO

WYSO’s Recovery Stories series brings you conversations from the heart of Dayton’s opioid epidemic. In this story, we meet Trotwood-native Andre Lewis and his friend and recovery sponsor William Roberts.

Roberts works in social services in Dayton and is a church pastor with nearly three decades clean. As Lewis explains in this story, he first met Roberts at a treatment program for struggling addicts. 

What follows is a transcript of their conversation, edited for length and clarity.

Andy Grimm

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.”

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