Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts and elsewhere have said federal law prohibits such facilities that are allowed in 66 countries, including Canada. Other legal experts interpret the law differently. News on the epidemic looks at efforts under way in Ohio to save lives, as well.
Is there any legal way to establish centers where people could use illicit drugs under medical supervision? That is one of the top questions legislators will ask if they take up a bill to allow “safe consumption sites,” as the state’s Harm Reduction Commission has recommended. (Freyer, 2/28)
A newly published study shows that the opioid epidemic is occurring in waves, but Ohio may be a model in stemming the tide. The study, recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that Ohio had a 121 annual percent increase in people who died as a result of overdosing on synthetic opiates, such as fentanyl or carfentanil, between 1999 and 2016. (Bruner, 2/27)
Addiction treatment is up. Prevention efforts are going full steam. Sterile syringes and naloxone are more accessible than ever in Hamilton County and narcotics officers are seeing fewer opiates on Cincinnati-area streets. The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition reported progress on Wednesday in their State of the Heroin Crisis news conference, but its members don’t think the heroin and fentanyl epidemic in the region is anywhere nearly over. (DeMio, 2/27)
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