opioids

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.

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.

SPR Therapeutics

More than a year ago, 80-year old Helen Douglass described her shoulder and forearm pain following a stroke as nine out of 10. Last summer the Cleveland-area resident participated in a clinical trial for SPRINT, a small wearable stimulator patch and has no pain now.

Her story is one of many SPR Therapeutics points to and the Ohio company is now marketing the FDA approved portable device that delivers neuro-stimulation to the nerve causing the pain. CEO Maria Bennett says SPRINT is somewhere between TENS and a fully implantable stimulation device.

Some medical scientists believe the patch could become a substitute for opioid abuse. 

Clermont County plans to sue pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis. Commissioners, the county prosecutor, and court of common pleas have hired a West Virginia law firm to go after distributors.


Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Ohio's Attorney General issued a warning late last week about a new mixture of opiates causing overdoses. Mike DeWine says "gray death" is a mixture of fentanyl, heroin, and the synthetic drug U47700.

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Local emergency medical services (EMS) have been taxed by the continuing opioid crisis in our region. During one six-day period last summer in Cincinnati, there were 174 overdoses. 

East Tennessee Children's Hospital / YouTube

The number of babies born drug dependent continues to increase. In Greater Cincinnati and elsewhere neonatologists are looking for answers.

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In just one week this summer, there were more than 175 heroin overdoses reported in the Cincinnati area. 

WFIU/WTIU News

As the heroin crisis continues across the country and here in Greater Cincinnati, news and media organizations have been trying to explore and expose the many aspects of drug abuse, the individuals fighting addiction and community response to the epidemic.

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In the past three weeks, there have been nearly 300 overdoses and three deaths from heroin in the Cincinnati area. These are unprecedented numbers and the situation is nothing short of a public health emergency. 

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It’'s not easy dealing with chronic pain, and medical professionals often resort to prescribing their patients opiates, which can become addictive and lead to more problems. 

More and more companies are requiring job applicants to take a pre-employment drug test — and more and more individuals are failing, according to a New York Times article published this May. This is due in part to an increase in the use of drugs such as marijuana, which is becoming legal in more areas of the country, or opioid drugs, which have swept the nation as an epidemic.

Provided

Named one of the best books of 2015, Dreamland: The True Tale of America’'s Opiate Epidemic by journalist Sam Quinones, provides a detailed look at the opiate epidemic devastating much of America today. Mr. Quinones tracks the origins of the heroin crisis, the dramatic growth of opiate abuse and its tragic devastation.

Provided

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.

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