HEAR: Rampant Opioid Overdoses Plague America

Sunday, October 15, 2017

(Air1 Closer Look - Billie Branham/Marya Morgan) – The numbers are shocking. Painkiller abuse kills 30,000 Americans every year. The CDC reports overdose deaths in the United States have quadrupled since 1999 and for the state of Ohio, the epicenter of the plague, around a dozen people overdose on pain pills every day.

In Ohio, Andrea Boxill, Deputy Director of the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team finds addiction usually starts innocently with a Rx from the doctor, but too often drives patients to find a cheaper high from pills sold on the street. The introduction of the additive fentanyl took the opioid death toll from bad to worse. Jean Krisle with 10,000 Beds, which awards scholarships to addicts seeking treatment, points to the people who make the illegal drugs. “They are not pharmacists. They’re not lab technicians. They’ve just been given a recipe and they put it together. They’re mixing fentanyl into these concoctions and the difference between life and death is the difference between a teaspoon and tablespoon in a huge, huge batch of this stuff.”

Boxill says Ohio public health officials are motivated and mobilized to fight the rise in opioid and heroin deaths at the root. “We’re working with other states on trying to figure how we can communicate with another, how we can make it easier to either continue treatment or get medication and make sure doctor-shopping isn’t happening.”

Click below to learn why Ohio suffers the most opioid overdoses and hear about persistent efforts for prevention and rehab.


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