addiction crisis

Courtesy Addiction Policy Forum

  After years of leading the nation in overdose death rates, Ohio Valley communities are looking for new ways to deal with the addiction crisis. A national nonprofit organization promotes and partners with programs that do just that.

Rebecca Kiger

At a town hall event in Logan, Ohio, Kelly Taulbee walks through the steps of an encounter with someone experiencing an opioid overdose. She's training a group to use NARCAN, the opioid reversal medication. She pulled out the small applicator and demonstrated how easy it is to spray the medication in someone’s nose.

51fifty / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0), https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Two newly released sets of government data show that the death toll from the nation’s opioid crisis may finally be dropping and also reveal the scale of the pain pill sales that help set the crisis in motion. The data for the Ohio Valley show how hard the region was hit and how hard people in these communities have been fighting to save lives.

Brittany Patterson / Ohio Valley Resource

This is the first story in an occasional series exploring the links between addiction recovery and a recoverying economy. 

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.

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.

Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

New data from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health show a rare bright spot amid the opioid crisis. Fewer high schoolers in the region appear to be using opioids.

Anthony Scott Lockard / KY River Dist. Health

In a room at the Letcher County Health Department in Whitesburg, Kentucky, about 20 people are learning how to use naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medication.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, via Ohio Valley ReSource

Health officials in the Ohio Valley are dealing with a multi-state, regional outbreak of Hepatitis A infections, with nearly 500 cases in four states. As part of the Ohio Valley ReSource series, “Rural Risk,” Mary Meehan reports this outbreak is the latest public health threat linked to the region’s addiction crisis.

Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

Health officials in the Ohio Valley are investigating outbreaks of disease associated with needle drug use in what is emerging as a new public health threat from the region’s profound opioid addiction crisis.

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