heroin

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The heroin epidemic is taking a terrible toll on families and straining health providers, social service agencies and the legal system, nationally and here in Greater Cincinnati. People and organizations on both sides of the Ohio river have been working together to combat the dramatic rise in drug abuse and provide addicts and their families with the care and help they need.

Michael E. Keating

Ohio Governor John Kasich took time away from the presidential campaign trail Wednesday night to deliver his State of the State address. Cincinnati leaders are developing rules covering public access to police body cam footage. Kentucky legislators are looking for a way to resolve the commonwealth's pension problems, and the battle against the heroin epidemic continues on both sides of the river.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Hamilton County police and prosecutors are starting to make progress in identifying heroin dealers and charging them with the overdose deaths or near deaths of their users.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

As opioid abuse skyrockets out of control, University of Cincinnati Health researchers are trying to zero in on fresh alternatives for the estimated 100 million people who suffer from chronic pain.

Principal investigator of a $1.95 million federal grant, Jun-Ming Zhang, MD, is studying the roles of the  nervous system and immune system in preclinical models of back and neuropathic pain.

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Last month, Kroger made Naloxone, a heroin-overdose reversal medication, available without a prescription in the Tri-state. The drug works within minutes and it is believed will save many lives. Ohio and Kentucky rank in the top five for highest overdose death rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control; heroin and prescription pain relievers like fentanyl are responsible for a majority of those deaths.

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Heroin abuse is becoming epidemic across the country, and the Northern Kentucky area has been particularly hard hit, experiencing a dramatic increase in those addicted to the drug and overdose deaths. Local communities, law enforcement, service agencies and medical professionals are collaborating on efforts to reduce heroin use, but there are different views on how best to combat the problem.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition Task Force is launching a new initiative to deal with the problem in the region. 

Tom Synan, Newtown's Chief of Police and director of the task force, says it's called Not In My Neighborhood and focuses on community support.

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Ohio-based grocery chain Kroger will make an opioid overdose antidote available without a prescription in its pharmacies across Ohio and northern Kentucky.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Three years ago as his jail was filling up with heroin addicts, many of them repeat offenders, Sheriff Gene Kelly and other Clark County officials decided to take a different approach.  They wanted users to permanently stop using the drug and hold dealers responsible for overdose deaths.

The Dealer

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Butler County has opened a new front in the battle against heroin addiction. 

The motherhood and maternity addiction services program will focus on perinatal care for women and children.

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