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Access to synthetic opioids keeps overdose number climbing


The toll of fatal overdoses only continues to climb, driven by an increase in potent, deadly synthetic opioids. Despite a growing awareness of the problem, access to treatment, more law enforcement, and everyday citizens carrying the antidote naloxone, the number of fatal overdoses is growing in Ohio. A major contributing factor has been the increased potency of synthetic opioids. In 2016 there were 4,050 fatal drug overdoses statewide. A majority of those deaths were attributed to opioids including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription drugs, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Fentanyl and related drugs were involved in 58.2 percent of



ODH Issues Advisory on Continuing Increase in Fentanyl-Related Overdose Deaths Involving Non-Opioids


The Ohio Department of Health issued the following advisory today concerning the continuing increase of fentanyl-related overdose deaths involving non-opioids such as cocaine and methamphetamines/other psychostimulants, urging first responders to administer naloxone for drug overdoses even when non-opioids are indicated.   Preliminary 2017 data shows a continuing increase in fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths, including an increase in overdose deaths involving both cocaine and fentanyl, as well as methamphetamines/other psychostimulants and fentanyl.   Preliminary 2017 data indicates that 71 percent of all unintentional drug overdose deaths involved fentanyl or a fentanyl analogue. By comparison, 58 percent of overdose deaths did so



Physician practices forced to use paper records lash out at Allscripts over ransomware response


Allscripts is still working to bring its cloud-hosted services back online after a ransomware attack took down several applications, prompting an outcry from physicians who lost access to their EHR and appointment systems. In a notice to Allscripts clients early Monday morning, the company said its Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) had been restored, but the company is still working to restore cloud-hosted services like Allscripts PM and its Professional EHR. Those outages are becoming increasingly frustrating for smaller physician practices that have resorted to pen and paper after having no access to medical records, scheduling or payment systems



In just two hours, Amazon erased $30 billion in market value for healthcare’s biggest companies


Amazon has disrupted fashion, books, furniture, food, cloud-based storage services, and much else besides. Now, it’s coming for one of the biggest, most complex industries in the US: healthcare. Today (Jan. 30), Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan announced a vague but market-moving plan to launch an independent company that will offer healthcare services to the companies’ employees at a lower cost. The venture, which will be managed by executives from the firms, will be run more like a non-profit, than a for-profit entity. The market value of 10 large, listed health insurance and pharmacy stocks 1 dropped by a combined $30 billion in the



The Opioid Crisis Is Getting Worse, Particularly for Black Americans


  The epidemic of drug overdoses, often perceived as a largely white rural problem, made striking inroads among black Americans last year — particularly in urban counties where fentanyl has become widespread. Although the steep rise in 2016 drug deaths has been noted previously, these are the first numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to break down 2016 mortality along geographic and racial lines. They reveal that the drug death rate is rising most steeply among blacks, with those between the ages of 45 and 64 among the hardest hit. Drug deaths among blacks in urban counties rose



Methamphetamine’s prevalence increased last year in Cuyahoga County, medical examiner says


The prevalence of methamphetamine increased last year in Cuyahoga County, but the medical examiner’s office is not seeing an increase in deaths caused by the drug, officials said. Cuyahoga County is not immune to a recent resurgence of the powerful stimulant across the nation. Law enforcement officers are seizing the drug – which is found in forms like crystal meth and fake ecstasy tablets – more frequently, Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson said Wednesday in a news release. “We have not seen an increase in deaths from methamphetamine – our overarching problem there remains the opioids like fentanyl and the



Closing gap between overdose and treatment in Hamilton County to stem relapses, deaths


It won’t be long before medically stable overdose patients in Hamilton County will be ushered into a center where they can stay short-term, be assessed and sent into treatment. The idea: Moving the addicted population directly into treatment before they relapse again or die. The 16-bed Hamilton County Engagement Center will launch next month at the county’s Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Center on Burnet Avenue in Corryville, said Neil Tilow, president and CEO of Talbert House. The $1.4 million project is the most dramatic among the efforts that the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition leaders announced Tuesday in a meeting to release



New detox facility to offer evidence-based treatment


A new addiction treatment facility opening up on Warren’s northwest side is taking the lessons learned from the evidence-based model of one of Warren’s existing facilities. FSR Parkman is set to start accepting clients Feb. 19 at its 4390 Enterprise Drive location, and staff is already assessing clients to fill the 16-bed treatment center that will offer detoxification services, along with outpatient and extended-stay treatment. Scott Wilkes, owner and CEO of the new facility, is new to the treatment facility business. The Akron-based geologist from the oil and gas industry, said he partnered with First Step Recovery, 2737 Youngstown Road



Emerald Jenny Foundation offers guidance to families fighting addiction


Bill Ayars wanted so much to believe that his daughter, Jennifer Emerald Ayars, could get it all figured out and conquer her addiction. “As a parent, I would tend to focus on the behavior,” Ayars says. “Just stop doing that. Go get help. Quit hanging around with those people. You need to change. Never really accepting addiction as a disease was my biggest misconception on how I thought we needed to be working on this.” Ayars lost his daughter in 2016 to a drug overdose. She was 28. He took some time to process what had happened and decided he



The Marion Opioid Addiction Team