Aaron Payne

Ohio Valley ReSource Reporter

Aaron Payne tackles the related issues of addiction recovery and economic recovery for the ReSource. He is a radio guy who first took to the airwaves at WMUL-FM, the campus voice for Marshall University, where he studied journalism. Aaron was the play-by-play voice of the West Virginia Miners baseball team (and he has the championship ring to prove it). At West Virginia Public Broadcasting he covered the state legislature and a chemical spill that left more than a quarter of a million people without potable water – including him. Aaron has also been a correspondent and director of news and programming for West Virginia MetroNews. In his spare time, Aaron enjoys listening to music, reading a good book, wandering in the outdoors and watching sports of all kinds.

Ways to Connect

Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

Addiction specialists, business leaders, law enforcement officials and other community members gathered around tables at Shawnee State University to talk about two big challenges in Scioto County, Ohio: a shrinking economy and a growing addiction crisis.

Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

Recipients of grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization, or POWER Initiative, gathered in Athens, Ohio, Wednesday and Thursday to share their experiences.

Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Officials in the Ohio Valley say recent increases in overdose deaths are largely due to fentanyl, and experts believe most of the powerful synthetic opioid comes from Chinese manufacturers.

Rebecca Kiger / Ohio Valley ReSource

A Washington Post investigation finds the Ohio Valley is suffering the most from the surge in overdose deaths due to synthetic opioids, even as deaths from other substances are falling. 

Photo: Courtesy Harvest, Inc.

Meigs County, Ohio, has a complicated history with marijuana.

Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

Meigs County, Ohio, has a complicated history with marijuana.

“Meigs County Gold” has been grown illegally for years. Local legend has it that was the strain of choice for musicians like the Grateful Dead and Willie Nelson when they toured Ohio.

OLEG DUDKO 123RF STOCK PHOTO

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Wednesday more than a dozen indictments against doctors in the Ohio Valley on charges relating to the illegal distribution of opioids. These are the first major indictments from the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force, which started work in December.

Aaron Payne | Ohio Valley Resource

Sue Meeks has worked with children for years as a registered nurse.

Meeks manages the family navigator program at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens, Ohio.

Several years ago, she started noticing three and four-year-olds coming into the program with certain distinctive behaviors.

Ashton Marra / WVPB

When Dr. Rahul Gupta started work as West Virginia’s chief health officer his state was already ground zero for the opioid epidemic, with some of the nation’s highest rates of addiction and overdose fatalities.

That was 2015, and 735 state residents died from overdoses that year.  

Preliminary data for 2017 show there were 1,011 overdose deaths last year, a record high for the state.

Courtesy of the office of the Surgeon General

In a comprehensive new report on the opioid crisis, the U.S. surgeon general writes that stigma remains a major barrier to treatment and urges a more supportive approach to those in need.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams wrote in his Spotlight on Opioids report that stigma has prevented people with opioid use disorders from seeking treatment.

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