Opiates

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Attorneys general from West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky are expected to meet with experts from law enforcement, health care and faith-based groups next week to discuss the opiate epidemic.

Attorneys General Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Andy Beshear of Kentucky will lead a conference Oct. 27 at New Life Church in Huntington.

Muscular dystrophy patient Joe Brumfield wanted a safer alternative to the opioid painkillers he was prescribed.
Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

As the opioid epidemic continues to plague the Ohio Valley with addiction and death, the search for safer methods of pain management has become increasingly urgent.

Advocates for medical marijuana have recently made inroads in the area with growing scientific evidence that the substance currently considered of no medical value by the federal government might be a tool to wean those suffering from chronic pain off of more dangerous drugs.

Opioids, opioid, painkillers, perscription, narcotics, doctors, narcotics
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Unintentional fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths in Ohio increased by almost six-fold in one year, beginning in 2013. Late last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health, analyzed available data to assess risk factors for overdose.

Yesterday, the CDC released a report that found the “risk factors for fentanyl-related overdose deaths included: male gender, white race, some college or less education, history of a substance abuse problem, and a
current mental health issue.”

Sam Quinones
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

Just a week before President Barack Obama is due in Charleston to discuss the states, problem with substance abuse, author and journalist Sam Quinones was in Huntington Thursday speaking to Marshall students about the opiate epidemic. 

Quinones told students: there is no simple solution to the drug problems cities like Huntington face.