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Drug Overdose Deaths

Good news came out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday: Preliminary data shows reported drug overdoses declined 4.2% in 2018, after rising precipitously for decades.

Updated at 10:44 p.m. ET

For the first time, a federal court in Ohio is releasing a trove of data that offers far more detail about the size and scope of the nation's opioid epidemic — and about the role played by drug companies and pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens and Johnson & Johnson that profited from the rapid growth of prescription opioid sales.

The Franklin County Cornor's office says  six drug overdose deaths were reported Monday, following three reported over the weekend.  

An increase in drug overdoses in recent days prompted the Columbus and Franklin County Public Health departments to issue an “overdose advisory” Wednesday.   

coroner.franklincountyohio.gov

The Franklin County Coroner says the number of fatal drug overdoses during the first three months of the year are up 8 percent from the same period last year. 

An Israel-based pharmaceutical company has agreed to an $85 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma over its alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter had accused Teva Pharmaceuticals of creating a public nuisance through its production and marketing of opioids. In a statement announcing the settlement, Teva said the agreement "does not establish any wrongdoing on the part of the company." Teva also said it "has not contributed to the abuse of opioids in Oklahoma in any way."

octf.franklincountyohio.gov

The Franklin County Coroner's office is reporting another spike in drug overdose deaths. 

The Franklin County Coroner’s office says preliminary overdose death statistics for 2018 show little change from the previous year. 

A new poll by NPR and Ipsos finds a third of Americans have been touched directly by the deadly opioid epidemic that still kills more than 100 people every day. "One in three have been personally affected in some way, either by knowing someone who has overdosed or by knowing someone with an opioid addiction," said Mallory Newall, lead Ipsos researcher on the survey.

A major pharmaceutical distribution company and two of its former executives are facing criminal charges for their roles in advancing the nation's opioid crisis and profiting from it.

octf.franklincountyohio.gov

The Franklin County Coroner's office has issued a warning following recent drug overdose deaths.  

Updated at 3:20 p.m.

The first of more than 1,600 lawsuits pending against Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid OxyContin, has been settled.

The drugmaker has agreed to pay $270 million to fund addiction research and treatment in Oklahoma and pay legal fees.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter filed suit two years ago alleging Purdue helped ignite the opioid crisis with aggressive marketing of the blockbuster drug OxyContin and deceptive claims that downplayed the dangers of addiction.

Men are dying after opioid overdoses at nearly three times the rate of women in the United States. Overdose deaths are increasing faster among black and Latino Americans than among whites. And there's an especially steep rise in the number of young adults ages 25 to 34 whose death certificates include some version of the drug fentanyl.

America's big drugmakers and pharmacy chains are scrambling to respond to hundreds of lawsuits tied to the deadly opioid epidemic. Billions of dollars are at stake if the companies are found liable for fueling the crisis.

Even before judgments are rendered, companies like Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and CVS are already suffering damage to their reputations as evidence in civil suits reveals more about their internal workings.

Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is announcing his first official step in fighting the opioid crisis. 

ohiopmp.gov

The state's prescription reporting system shows the number of prescription opioids dispensed to Ohioans declined for the sixth consecutive year in 2018. 

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is asking a court to throw out a lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts attorney general accusing the company, its owners and top executives of deceiving patients and doctors about the risks of opioids. 

The Franklin County Coroner's Office has issued an alert following a drug overdose death spike from 3 p.m. on Friday to 12:30 a.m. on Saturday.  

Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

There's a new anti-drug effort that involves a variety of groups from around the state. 

octf.franklincountyohio.gov

The Franklin County Coroner's office is reporting a surge in overdose deaths this week. 

Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine met Tuesday with leaders in local communities as he develops plans to fight opioid abuse. 

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

Nearly 16 thousand Ohio children are in the custody of county children's service agencies. 

A second wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the Mount Carmel West doctor accused of administering excessive and fatal doses of fentanyl to more than two-dozen patients.

A lawsuit filed Monday alleges a doctor, nurse and pharmacist at Mount Carmel West gave excessive and fatal doses of the powerful opioid fentanyl to over 20 patients over a five year period.  

For the first time in U.S. history, a leading cause of deaths — vehicle crashes — has been surpassed in likelihood by opioid overdoses, according to a new report on preventable deaths from the National Safety Council.

Americans now have a 1 in 96 chance of dying from an opioid overdose, according to the council's analysis of 2017 data on accidental death. The probability of dying in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 103.

octf.franklincountyohio.gov

The Franklin County Coroner's Office reports says a surge in overdose deaths this week. 

A Columbus woman has been sentenced to three years in prison for providing the drugs that caused the fatal overdose of a Worthington man in 2016. 

Fentanyl is now the drug most frequently involved in overdose deaths in the U.S., according to a National Vital Statistics System report published Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report sheds a bright light on the changing nature of America's drug landscape — and the devastating number of overdose deaths that have occurred in the U.S. in recent years.

The State of Mississippi has filed a lawsuit against Dublin-based Cardinal Health and two other opioid distributors, saying they failed to prevent the diversion of drugs into the state. 

Franklin County Coroner's Office

The Franklin County Coroner's Office today released preliminary overdose statistics for the first eight months of 2018. 

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