WYSO

Opioid Epidemic

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.”

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.

Pages