There are usually many complex reasons that those addicted to opioids struggle with recovery–including the struggles of being homeless or not having insurance. Lawmakers, who wanted to bring a fresh set of of eyes to the problem, toured Johns Hopkins looking for answers. News on the crises comes out of Ohio, as well.
The Baltimore Sun: Federal Opioid Task Force Visits Johns Hopkins To Learn About Stemming Epidemic
Some may have disappointed themselves by failing at treatment before, but they can’t stop craving heroin that they suspect is laced with the far more powerful, and often deadly, fentanyl. No one may have provided them with the overdose treatment naloxone. These are some of the interlocking issues related to the nation’s opioid epidemic that a group of freshmen congressmen, led by Maryland Democratic Rep. David Trone, sought to understand as they toured the Johns Hopkins University’s research and treatment facilities on Tuesday. (Cohn, 3/5)
The Associated Press: Doc Denies Ordering Outsize Painkiller To End Patient’s Life
A critical-care doctor accused of ordering excessive painkiller doses for dozens of Ohio hospital patients who died is denying he negligently or intentionally prescribed drugs to end a woman’s life. The response is part of a court filing seeking dismissal of a lawsuit against Dr. William Husel (HYOO’-suhl) over the September death of 64-year-old Bonnie Austin. Among others defenses, his lawyer argues Husel is immune to the suit under state law. (3/5)
Cincinnati Enquirer: Hamilton County To Test Steering Addicted From Jail, Into ‘Life’ Plan
This summer, Hamilton County will test a program to cut its jail population by letting police officers not pursue charges against some people with addiction and others who commit low-level crimes. But the program won’t stop there, leading those not charged to develop relationships with police and others to develop skills that could help them succeed in life. (DeMio, 3/5)
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio Syringe Exchange Programs Double In Three Nearly Years, Report Finds
For years, Circle Health Services (formerly The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland) ran the only recognized syringe exchange program in the state. Today, there are 16 programs across Ohio, more than double the number almost three years ago, according to a new report by The Center for Community Solutions, a Cleveland-based think tank. (Christ, 3/5)
Meanwhile, the first lady takes aim at the media —
The Associated Press: First Lady Prods Media To Cover Opioids As Much As ‘Gossip’
First lady Melania Trump prodded the news media on Tuesday to spend as much time highlighting the opioid epidemic at it devotes to “idle gossip or trivial stories.” Mrs. Trump said she wished the media would talk about the epidemic more “and educate more children, also adults, parents, about the opioid crisis that we have in United States.” She spoke during a town hall-style discussion in Las Vegas about the epidemic that claimed nearly 48,000 American lives in 2017. “They do it already, but I think not enough.” (3/5)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
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