WYSO

Opioids

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Emmett Tullos / Flickr Creative Commons

The Montgomery County Coroner’s office is warning residents of a possible spike in drug overdose deaths. Health officials say the opioid overdose death rate has fluctuated over the last few months. They’re warning the deaths may be linked to the dangerous opioid fentanyl.

Eric Blaine, director of the Montgomery County Coroner’s office, says the high number of suspected overdose deaths already in July is alarming.

“Anytime we see this we have to caution everybody that there is no safe way to use illegal drugs,” he says.

Federal officials are charging 60 defendants across five states in what they're calling the largest opioid prescriber takedown ever. These are the first arrests announced since an opioid strike force began late last year.

Federal money to fight the opioid crisis nearly doubled in the last two years, according to a national think tank’s new report analyzing that funding.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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