Opioids

Us & Them : His Name's DJ

Dec 6, 2017
Mitch Hanley

We revisit the story of “Steve,” a young New Hampshire man that we met back in the spring of 2016. In our episode called “The Changing Face of Heroin,” we followed him and his father as he reported for the last visit of a court ordered drug rehab program. As you can imagine, kicking a powerful opioid habit isn’t easy, but in many ways our guy remained committed to the program.

Prescriptions, Pills, Drugs, Prescription
U.S. Air Force

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Thursday steps for an opioid response plan to combat the opioid epidemic. DHHR is asking West Virginians to help develop the plan through public comment and recommendations over the next 15 days.

Drugs, Drug abuse, Drug overdose, overdose
Pixabay

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is targeting opioid abuse in Appalachia by establishing a new field office in Kentucky to oversee a region ravaged by overdose deaths.

The new Louisville field office will have a special agent in charge to oversee investigations in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Opioids, opioid, painkillers, perscription, narcotics, doctors, narcotics
Dollar Photo Club

West Virginia University's chief economist estimates the opioid epidemic has cost the state economy nearly $1 billion from deaths, lost or underperformed jobs and public resources.

Can West Virginia Shift Its Attitude Toward the Opioid Crisis?

Nov 28, 2017
Dollar Photo Club

Shawna Hardy grew up in the early 80s “on the hill.” That’s how family referred to her Grandma Helen’s property, a quasi-farm situated atop a steep hill in North-Central West Virginia. Her family lived in a trailer next to Grandma Helen, separated by a large field outlined with thick aluminum fencing that held a chicken coop, a salt lick for the cows, and a small barn for a temperamental palomino named Golden Boy.

Opioids
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

Two more West Virginia communities have joined others around the state in suing drug companies over the opioid epidemic.

Opioids
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

Several West Virginia municipalities are suing The Joint Commission, claiming the Chicago-based health care accreditation group downplayed the dangers of prescription painkillers and helped fuel addictions.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the cities of Charleston, Huntington and Kenova and the town of Ceredo filed the class-action lawsuit Thursday in Charleston.

Opioid Emergency: How Trump’s Plan Will -- And Won’t -- Help The Ohio Valley

Oct 30, 2017
Courtesy White House Video

As bad as the opioid epidemic is across the nation, it is even worse here in the Ohio Valley.

Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia collectively have a rate of opioid-related deaths that is more than twice the national average.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, now that President Trump has officially declared the opioid crisis a health emergency, many people are wondering how that will help in the nation’s hardest-hit region: The Ohio Valley. Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia collectively have an overdose death rate that is twice the national average. 
Aaron Payne reports on some potentially helpful parts of the President’s plan and one big thing that’s missing.

Kara Lofton/ WVPB

About 2.5 million children in the U.S. are being raised by grandparents or relatives other than their birth parents.

This week on Inside Appalachia, we hear a special series about grandparents raising grandchildren. Many are taking care of grandchildren who would otherwise be put in foster care, but the arrangement can be difficult for the grandparents themselves.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, yesterday, President Trump’s administration declared a public health emergency to deal with the opioid epidemic.

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, host Jessica Lilly speaks with Dr. Petros Levounis, professor and chairman of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Levounis, who’s published a number of studies about the opioid crisis. Levounis says it was a “catastrophic medical mistake” that “opened the door to liberal prescribing of narcotics that essentially got people hooked”.

Trumps Cite Ohio Valley Experience In Opioid Emergency Plan

Oct 26, 2017
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

President Donald Trump outlined on Thursday his long-awaited plan to address the opioid crisis as a national public health emergency. Part of that plan was based on experiences in the Ohio Valley region.

White House, Office of the First Lady

  Many lawmakers from the Ohio Valley region say they’ll be at the White House Thursday as President Donald Trump is expected to unveil a long-awaited emergency declaration to address the opioid crisis. The president is scheduled to speak on the issue 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

However, health officials and addiction treatment experts in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia — among the states hardest hit by the epidemic — say they’ve had little contact from the Trump administration as it developed the emergency response.

Ex-DEA Official Blames Congress, but His Own Agency Blessed Opioid Boom

Oct 24, 2017
Hydrocodone pills
Toby Talbot / AP

The Washington Post and 60 Minutes released an explosive report detailing how Congress hobbled the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to take down prescription opioid distributors. The exposé stars Joe Rannazzisi, who ran the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control from 2006 to 2015.

Benny Becker/ WMMT

Too many times, when stories of Appalachia are in the national spotlight, we hear shallow, shocking and grim stories. But they miss some of the most inspiring aspects to our realities: the struggle, the perseverance and the resilience.  On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia we’ll meet storytellers who work to help Appalachians tell their own stories, and capture the true Appalachian spirit behind the statistics.

Patrick Morrisey, W. Va. Attorney General
Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A bipartisan group of state attorneys general, including West Virginia’s Patrick Morrisey, are urging health care companies to develop programs that might mitigate opioid abuse.

The letters urge the companies to adopt programs that promote better prescribing practices, such as limiting prescriptions of opioids to seven days for new patients, limiting the daily dose of opioids based on strength and requiring the initial use of immediate-release formulas.

The letters point to a similar program implemented by CVS Health Corporation as an example of work well done.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Congressman Evan Jenkins hosted a roundtable in Charleston yesterday focused on the federal response to fentanyl and other dangerous synthetic opioids that are flooding the Appalachian region. Fentanyl is one of the deadliest opioids on the streets today. Just 3 milligrams of the drug can kill an adult male compared to about 30 milligrams of heroin.

 

 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Climate activists are being trained by former Vice President Al Gore this week in Pittsburgh. As The Allegheny Front’s Reid Fraizer reports, Gore founded the Climate Reality Project 10 years ago, after making his climate change documentary, an Inconvenient Truth. 

Joe Manchin
Susan Walsh / AP Photo

After national scrutiny, Pennsylvania Representative Tom Marino has withdrawn from consideration to lead the National Drug Control Policy office – a position commonly called the Drug Czar. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who has been vocal about his disapproval of the nomination, applauded the move.

Mary Woolley, Research America, Research!America, Shepherd University
Shepherd University

Shepherd University hosted an event Monday exploring the possibility of more efficient ways for universities, industry, government, and scientific researchers to work together to combat the opioid epidemic. And a recent public opinion survey indicates West Virginians want to see the state be a leader on this issue.

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