Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Play

New Mexico legislation would boost protections for LGBTQ students, Idaho makes a big jump in higher-education attainment, and this year's Monarch butterfly winter count showed significant improvement.

Play

The Senate considers police reforms in the wake of Tyre Nichols' killing, members of Congress want a new vote on the Equal Rights Amendment, and George Santos voluntarily steps down from his committee appointments.

Play

"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Nurse to Candidates: Opioid Crisis Should be "Front and Center" in Ohio

Play

Friday, October 28, 2022   

Overdose deaths in Ohio are on track to fall below the record pace of last year, but the opioid crisis is far from over.

The group Harm Reduction Ohio estimated that overdose deaths for 2022 will drop below 5,000 for the first time since 2019. However, after falling at the beginning of the year, rates appear to have increased since May.

As a registered nurse at The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, Rick Lucas has a firsthand view of the opioid epidemic. Lucas, an Ohio Nurses Association union leader, said he carries naloxone at all times to respond when patients - and sometimes, hospital visitors - overdose.

"The stress that everybody is under through the pandemic has only really made things tougher," he said. "Children losing parents, parents losing children, families split apart because of addiction. This is very much something that needs to continue to be front and center, and addressed."

The epidemic is a top issue in the U.S. Senate race between Democrat Tim Ryan and Republican J-D Vance, who wrote a memoir detailing family addiction. Vance has faced criticism of his nonprofit, which he said fights opiate abuse. Media reports have questioned the organization's spending on a political advisor and opinion polling. While financial disclosures indicate the nonprofit is now shuttered, Vance's campaign says it's on a temporary hold due to the Senate race.

Lucas explained that local health-care providers and organizations on the ground have worked tirelessly to help Ohioans struggling with addiction, as state and national resources have fluctuated.

"These folks need not only in-hospital care, but out-of-hospital care, and a lot of the funding comes from the federal government," he said. "So, it is really important that we have legislators in Washington that are gonna take this serious and push policies that have an impact on this crisis."

Lucas said states such as Ohio need more help tackling the opioid crisis, including its increased burden on the health-care system. And he argued that more investments are needed to help people struggling with addiction in rural communities.

"It's a real hardship for folks to travel 30 or 60 miles for ongoing treatment; they don't stick with it," he said. "So we definitely need a more proactive approach in addressing the mental health-care needs of individuals, so they're not turning to self-medicating with opioids or other illicit substances."

According to Harm Reducation Ohio, the worst overdose death rates in 2022 so far skew heavily toward the Appalachian counties in southeast Ohio.


get more stories like this via email
Eye-care professionals say limiting screen time before bedtime, using blue light-blocking filters on your devices, and wearing blue light-blocking glasses can all help protect from potential health risks. (Pixabay)

Health and Wellness

With the increasing use of digital devices and computers in daily life, we're all exposed to more and more blue light. They may be convenient and …


Health and Wellness

Reproductive rights advocates are cheering Minnesota's new law centering around abortion access. Supporters predict it could help in other ways for …

Social Issues

Idaho and the rest of the country are making progress getting higher education to more people. A new report from Lumina Foundation finds nearly 54% …


From 2019 to 2020, the U.S. saw a 6% increase in deaths from cardiovascular disease. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

The U.S. saw a surge in cardiovascular-related deaths during the first year of the pandemic, and voices from South Dakota's health community hope it …

Environment

This winter, volunteers counted more than 335,000 Western monarch butterflies in an annual survey, a big improvement over the last few years…

The death penalty was abolished in Washington state in 2018. (Felipe Caparrós/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A new book by a University of Washington professor on the death penalty finds support for executions may be motivated by people's own fear of death…

Social Issues

A recent survey offers insight into the challenges with hunger many Nevada families are facing on a daily basis. The "Feeding Our Community" survey …

Environment

City water leaders in Des Moines are considering a $50 million plan to use Mother Nature as a giant water filter to remove nitrates from the city's dr…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021