Sunday, September 25, 2022

Play

The health-care subsidy extension a relief for small businesses; Consumer groups press for a bill to reform credit reporting; and an international group aims to transform how people view peace and conflict.

Play

Condemnation of Russian war on Ukraine continues at the U.N, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there's need for worker training to rebuild Puerto Rico, the House takes on record corporate profits while consumers struggle with inflation.

Play

The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

Harm Reduction Shines as Pathway Out of Opioid Epidemic

Play

Monday, February 14, 2022   

As the nation shifts toward ending the pandemic phase of COVID-19, another health crisis appears to be worsening. A new bipartisan Congressional report showed drug overdose deaths surpassed 100,000 nationally in one year, and most involve synthetic opioids, like fentanyl.

Here in Ohio, fentanyl killed nearly 19,000 people between 2016 and 2021, the highest number among states.

Linda Seiter, executive director of the nonprofit Caracole, a Hamilton County organization providing what are known as harm reduction supplies to drug users, said fentanyl can be found in almost every illicit drug now.

"Not just heroin, even meth and crack, and oftentimes, people are unprepared for the fentanyl that whatever they're smoking may be laced with," Seiter explained. "They are at risk for an overdose."

Unlike most other areas, Hamilton County has seen a 34% decrease in opioid-related deaths in the last several months. Seiter pointed out the decline is attributed to harm-reduction measures, including expanded availability of the anti-overdose medication naloxone, needle exchanges and public education about overdose prevention.

Caracole is home to the first harm reduction vending machine in the Midwest. Seiter noted it provides free access 24/7 to supplies, to help prevent disease and overdose.

"The machine dispenses safe injection kits, without syringes," Seiter emphasized. "The kits include cookers and tourniquets, and Narcan and fentanyl test strips; and then, information about treatment resources as well."

Seiter added abstinence-only education is not always successful, so harm reduction focuses on building a respectful relationship with a stigmatized group.

"People who use drugs, they come in the door expecting to be judged, that's their experience," Seiter observed. "And if you tell people, 'You need to get sober,' they may or may not, and many will not. And so, how do we keep them as safe as they can be in the meantime?"

The congressional report calls for a strategy focusing on shutting down sources of chemicals used to make synthetic opioids. It also recommends fostering development of opioid alternatives, investing in addiction research and getting treatment and support to people who become addicted.


get more stories like this via email
Nonprofit organizations employed nearly 30,000 Montanans in 2019. (Artur/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The work of some nonprofit organizations has only increased with the pandemic and the needs that have come from it. An author and expert in the field …


Social Issues

By Lourdes Medrano for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Arizona News Connection, reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …

Social Issues

Hispanic Heritage Month began in mid-September and runs through Oct. 15, and a financial institution in Washington state is finding unique ways to …


Fans of solitude say the route density in Labyrinth Canyon can make it difficult to escape the noise of motorized vehicles. (Bureau of Land Management)

Environment

Conservation groups say more needs to be done to protect the natural and cultural resources of Utah's Labyrinth Canyon from off-road vehicles…

Social Issues

Despite being aimed at children in kindergarten through third grade, Florida teachers say what's often referred to as the "Don't Say Gay" law has …

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., says she plans to call a legislative hearing on the practices of credit reporting agencies. (Kalafoto/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Consumer groups are pressing for legislation to reform the way credit agencies handle errors on credit reports. The calls to amend the Fair Credit …

Environment

A relatively small number of so-called "super emitters" are responsible for 40% of the methane emissions in oil and gas hotspots such as California's …

Social Issues

As "Banned Books Week" comes to a close, Connecticut libraries have been celebrating with great fervor - despite numerous book bans and challenges…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021