opioid epidemic

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This Friday, November 10, Northern Kentucky University will host the inaugural conference of the Ohio River Valley Addiction Research Consortium (ORVARC). The conference will focus on evidence-based research on neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

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The year was 1908 and an Ohio doctor, appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt as the nation's first Opium Commissioner, warned that Americans "have become the greatest drug fiends in the world." If the sentiment seems all too familiar in the grips of our current opioid epidemic, you'll find there are many similarities, and some shocking differences, between current times and a drug crisis that dates all the way back to the Civil War.

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Hamilton County's leaders aren't counting on help from the state to build an opioid diversion center. Commissioners passed a motion directing the administration to look into building such a facility.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The maker of Narcan is making a research grant to Hamilton County that will provide nearly $2 million worth of the overdose antidote to combat the local heroin crisis.

Ohio Society of Interventional Pain Physicians

Medical professionals who help people dealing with chronic pain are gathering in Cincinnati this weekend. It will be the first meeting of the Ohio Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Boone and Kenton counties plan to sue three of the country's largest wholesale drug distributors. Fiscal courts in both counties say AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson Corporation are a big reason for Northern Kentucky's opioid epidemic.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The city of Cincinnati wants three major drug distributors to pay for the opioid epidemic.

The city is the latest to file suit against AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson Corporation. A federal lawsuit alleges the companies let an epidemic run unchecked. A release from the city says those three companies account for 80 percent of the market for prescription opioids.