WCBE Header Banner 20190208
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Another Spike In Local Drug Overdoses Reported

mike_dewine.jpg
Ohio Public Radio
/

Columbus fire officials say 21 people were treated between 8 a.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday for opioid overdoses. That's on top of the nearly three-dozen cases reported between Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Fire division paramedics administered naloxone to the victims. Columbus police continue searching for the distributors of the heroin mixed with another yet-to-be identified substance. The 21 cases were scattered throughout the city. No deaths were reported.  Meanwhile, the Ohio Attorney General is urging communities to take advantage of programs available to help fight the state's opioid epidemic. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says the heroin unit in his office can help communities with equipment, staff and information to get bigger drug dealers off the street. But he says, so far, only a few have taken advantage of that service. DeWine says it’s also important for all communities to make sure they have plenty of Naloxone on hand. That’s the drug that revives someone when they are overdosing. And he says it’s important to remember that some opioids, like the powerful elephant tranquilizer carfentanil, are far stronger than the overdose remedy.

 

The half-life of carfentanil might be up to seven hours. The half life of naloxone is about thirty to forty minutes. So what we are now seeing happen is that people are brought back to life, taken to a hospital, are advised to stick around, they feel ok so they walk out the door and two hours later, they are dead because it didn’t stay in their system long enough.”

 

DeWine says he’s heard some question why public money is being spent to buy naloxone for first responders in the first place. He defends it.

 

I met with some young women a few months ago. One had been brought back to life twice. Another had been brought back to life three times. And they were sober and had been sober for three months. So we value life.”

 

DeWine says his office has worked with the manufacturer of naloxone to give rebates back to consumers who purchase it. But he says the only real way to solve the heroin crisis long-term is to educate kids, from a very young age, about the dangers of drug abuse. He’s hoping education efforts undertaken now will pay off with fewer drug abusers a decade from now.

 

 

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
The Statehouse News Bureau was founded in 1980 to provide educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations. To this day, the Bureau remains the only broadcast outlet dedicated to in-depth coverage of state government news and topics of statewide interest. The Bureau is funded througheTech Ohio, and is managed by ideastream. The reporters at the Bureau follow the concerns of the citizens and voters of Ohio, as well as the actions of the Governor, the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Supreme Court, and other elected officials. We strive to cover statehouse news, government issues, Ohio politics, and concerns of business, culture and the arts with balance and fairness, and work to present diverse voices and points of view from the Statehouse and throughout Ohio. The three award-winning journalists at the bureau have more than 60 combined years of radio and television experience. They can be heard on National Public Radio and are regular contributors to Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Marketplace. Every weekday, the Statehouse News Bureau produces in-depth news reports forOhio's public radio stations. Those stories are also available on this website, either on the front page or in our archives. Weekly, the Statehouse News Bureau produces a television show from our studios in the Statehouse. The State of Ohio is an unique blend of news, interviews, talk and analysis, and is broadcast on Ohio's public television stations. The Statehouse News Bureau also produces special programming throughout the year, including the Governor's annual State of the State address to the Ohio General Assembly and a five-part year-end review.
Related Content