Prescription overdose deaths at an 8 year low, street drug overdoses on the rise

The state is beginning to win a number of battles in the war on drug abuse

If you look at prescription opioids and overdoses related to them without any fentanyl involved, Ohio is at an 8-year low. For the Kasich Administration, this is a point that cannot be lauded more.

“There is a perception, I may be incorrect about this, that somehow this problem of drug abuse in our state is raging out of control,” Kasich said. “That is simply not true.”

Kasich says the state is beginning to win a number of battles in the war on drug abuse and points to that 8-year low as proof.

“What that means is, it’s not growing; it means that we’re winning; we’re starting to beat this down,” Kasich said.

He went on to say the days of prescribed opiate deaths are over. And the data seems to show he could be right. With all of the efforts the Kasich Administration has made to regulate the prescribing of opioids, fewer doses have been given out. Simple math, fewer doses means fewer opportunities to overdose.

“As the addiction to opiates declines, prescribed opiates decline, you will not have as many people out there buying these drugs on the street corner,” Kasich said.

But some struggle to make that math work. According to the Ohio Department of Health, synthetic opioids like fentanyl are killing thousands of Ohioans as they are laced into street drugs like heroin, cocaine and meth.

Last year 4,854 people died from an overdose and nearly half of them involved cocaine or a drug like meth. The Department of Health says, of that 4,854, 71% also involved fentanyl or a synthetic like it.

Cocaine overdoses were up 39% with more than 400 more people dying of an overdose in 2017 than did in 2016. Meth overdoses more than doubled from 233 in 2016 to 537 in 2017. And all of that is with the stepped up efforts of the Ohio State Highway Patrol in their pursuit of drug traffickers trying to bring narcotics into the State.

Kasich reminded everyone that the state invests around $1 billion to battle drug abuse and addiction. More than half of that money comes from the federal government; around 56.3% of it according to State officials after compiling data from multiple state agencies.

When asked if the State could or should be doing more, Kasich responded in ways both frustrated and measured.

“If somebody can tell me how I can keep somebody from going to the street corner and buying cocaine from a dealer, I’m all ears,” Kasich said. “I just don’t know what else we can do other than to warn people about these dangers.”

When pressed about what needed to happen next, Kasich said, “We’re not done yet, but I would hope for the next administration, they would continue to look at the weaknesses in our system, that they would continue to stay on top of all of these issues; to work with the community so that we can have even more improvement.”

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Youngstown mayor sends letter to President Trump asking him to “keep his word” and help the Valley

August 31, 2018 at 12:10a.m.

By Graig Graziosi


Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Thursday addressing the declining economic conditions in the Mahoning Valley, offering to do “anything and everything I can” to help the president “keep his word.”

Brown is referencing statements Trump made during a campaign rally at the Covelli Centre last year during which he suggested that jobs “were all coming back” and advised residents not to sell their homes.

In the letter, Brown gives several examples of how economic conditions in the Valley have deteriorated since Trump’s visit to Youngstown.

Brown’s examples include the elimination of the second shift at General Motors Lordstown Assembly Plant and the announcement that the Chevy Blazer would be built in Mexico, a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that the Mahoning Valley has lost more jobs than any other region of the country over the course of the past year and the closure of Northside Regional Medical Center.

“I think when I looked at the time frame that had passed since his last visit where he spoke about helping the area, and saw what had happened – GM’s second shift, the new car being built in Mexico, the North Side hospital – I started saying, ‘Hold on, this is the total reverse of his message for our area,” Brown said. “My focus is to remind him of what he told my community.”

Brown says in the letter that Trump’s message “excited and inspired me because the President of the United States was promising to help make my vision for the city a reality.”

When asked what specifically Brown meant when he suggested he would do “anything and everything” to help Trump keep his word, Brown mentioned that helping to keep the Lordstown Assembly Plant operational and helping to turn the Northside Regional Medical Center into a new VA hospital would be two projects he’d hope to discuss with the administration.

“Regarding the hospital, that’s something I’ve discussed with Congressman [Tim] Ryan, Congressman [Bill] Johnson, both Senators [Rob] Portman and [Sherrod] Brown,” Brown said. “The hospital is a true bi-partisan project, we can all agree it’ll be a great benefit to the Valley and to our veterans.”

Brown said ensuring the longevity of the Lordstown Assembly Plant was not just an issue of local importance but of regional economic importance.

Regardless of whether Trump’s administration agrees to meet, Brown said the economic challenges facing the Valley will require help from outside the region to overcome.

“It’s not something we’ll be able to do on our own, it’s going to take a team effort, but luckily many of those senators and congressmen that I mentioned are on board for the challenge,” Brown said.

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John Kasich: GOP Candidate Said He Didn’t Invite Trump To Ohio Rally

Nina Golgowski
,HuffPost•August 5, 2018

Republican House candidate Troy Balderson speaks next to President Donald Trump at a rally in Lewis Center, Ohio, on Saturday. (MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Sunday suggested that President Donald Trump appeared at a campaign rally in his state on Saturday without a direct invitation from the House candidate he came to tout.

Kasich, speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” said he asked state Sen. Troy Balderson, the Republican candidate for a U.S. House seat in a Tuesday special election, point blank why he invited Trump to campaign for him at his event in Delaware County.

“I asked him the other day, ‘Why are you bringing Trump in,’ said Kasich, who has been one of the GOP’s harshest critics of the president. Kasich said Balderson told him, “Well, I don’t have anything to do with it.”

“I think Donald Trump decides where he wants to go,” Kasich said of the president’s appearance, where after introducing Balderson and praising him, he then focused of his own agenda and his litany of complaints about the media.

“I think [Trump and his political advisers] think they are firing up the base,” at such rallies, added Kasich, who was among several establishment party leaders Trump defeated for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Attempts to reach Balderson’s team for comment on Sunday were not immediately successful.

Balderson, who polls have shown faces a tough battle against Democrat Danny O’Connor in a district where the GOP traditionally has dominated, was introduced by Trump to the crowd as “really smart” and a “really hard worker.”

The plaudits came two days after Trump mistakenly urged Republicans to vote in the special election for a someone not on its ballot ― GOP Rep. Steve Stivers. He represents a nearby district and is up for re-election on November’s ballot.

Trump deleted the tweet naming Stivers and replaced it with one supporting Balderson.

If O’Connor wins Tuesday vote, he would flip a House seat that has been held by the GOP since 1982. The seat was vacated by Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi in January.

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