August 14, 2018
It's 2003, and as a college freshman in Cleveland, our narrator is adrift until he meets Emily. The two of them experience an instant, life-changing connection. But when he almost loses her, he chooses to make an indelible statement: he joins the Army. The outcome will not be good for either of them. As a medic in Iraq, he is unprepared for the realties that await him. He and his fellow soldiers huff computer duster, abuse painkillers, and watch porn. Many of them die. When he comes home, his PTSD is profound. As the opioid crisis sweeps through the Midwest, it drags both him and Emily along with it. As their addictions worsen, and with their money drying up, he stumbles onto what seems like the only possible solution—robbing banks.
July 20, 2018
The United States accounts for five percent of the world's population but consumes almost 70 percent of the total global opioid supply, creating an epidemic that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths each year. How did we get here, and what can we do about it? In this personal talk, Travis Rieder recounts the painful, often-hidden struggle of opioid withdrawal and reveals how doctors who are quick to prescribe (and overprescribe) opioids aren't equipped with the tools to eventually get people off the meds.
July 2, 2018
The number of prescription opioid-related overdose deaths excluding involvement of fentanyl declined almost 28 percent since 2011, and to an eight-year low. Prescription opioid-related overdose deaths also accounted for a substantially smaller percentage of all unintentional overdose deaths in 2017 (10.8 percent) than in 2011 (40.9 percent). The decline in prescription opioid deaths corresponded with Ohio’s efforts to reduce the prescription opioid supply available for misuse and diversion, which has included shutting down pill mills, putting in place prescribing guidelines, strengthening prescription drug monitoring, stepping up enforcement efforts and developing new regulations for drug wholesalers.
July 2, 2018
The opioid epidemic has been called the worst public health crisis in a century. Amid the darkness and despair, there is light and hope. "Prescription for Hope," a podcast from The MetroHealth System, shares the stories of some of the people working to end the crisis and bring the dawn.
May 8, 2018
Addiction to opioids is now officially a national emergency. But why are addiction rates spiking and what can we do about it? Neuroscientist Rachel Wurzman shares new research about how the brain reacts to opioids, replacing the sense of community and belonging human beings are losing. We are beginning to understand that solving the opioid epidemic will require us to focus on social factors surrounding those addicted. Dr. Rachel Wurzman is a Fellow with the Center for Neuroscience and Society, and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Neurology with the Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation at the University of Pennsylvania.
April 17, 2018
In 2016, 4,050 Ohioans died because of unintentional drug overdoses, and preliminary 2017 data indicates that the number of deaths has continued to rise. The overview and project description for HPIO’s Addiction Evidence Project provides additional information about drug trends and the factors driving this epidemic.