opioid addiction

JAMA

The opioid epidemic is often associated with Appalachia, but the drugs are all over the country.  And the responses to the epidemic are all over the map. 

The University of Michigan actually laid out that map, several, actually, showing where addiction is high and low, and showing where services are numerous and not. 

The map shows some big differences on both counts, between counties in our part of the country. 

Mark Oniffrey via Wikimedia Commons

Naloxone is a drug that quickly reverses an overdose of heroin or other opioid drugs. It’s been used by hospitals and emergency medical workers since the 1970s.

But in recent years -- as the opioid epidemic has spread – many states including Oregon, California and Washington have passed laws making it easier for non-medical people to obtain naloxone and use it in an emergency.

This is the story of an Ashland mother who’s turned her personal tragedy into community action to save lives.

How Naloxone Can Save Overdose Victims

Feb 20, 2017
Mark Oniffrey, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55153415

The opioid painkiller epidemic took a strange twist when doctors clamped down on the prescription drugs.  Users began turning to heroin as a replacement for opioids, and the heroin overdose death rate shot up. 

In response, many communities have begun equipping first responders with the drug naloxone--also called Narcan--to revive overdose patients long enough to get medical help. 

Julia Pinsky's son died of a heroin overdose; she started "Max's Mission" to help distribute naloxone. 

Sara Smith is a nurse and organizer for a naxolone support group under Oregon Pain Guidance

Brett Johnson is deputy police chief in Medford. 

Wikimedia

Addictions to opioid prescription drugs are all too common in America.  But facilities to treat people who've become addicted can be harder to find. 

Grants Pass is an example: until this week, Josephine County residents seeking treatment had to seek it in Jackson County, a half-hour drive or more. 

Grace Roots, an organization dedicated to confronting the addiction problem, opened the doors to a Grants Pass treatment center this week, and patients streamed in. 

And the official opening is not until today (Jan. 12).