Fentanyl test strips floated as way to fight overdoses in Dayton area

Published: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 3:37 PM

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)
Cliff Owen
(AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)(Cliff Owen)

A local woman wants more people in the Dayton area to know about low-price test strips that detect fentanyl in street drugs, and proponents say could help opioid abusers avoid fatal overdoses.

In 2017, overdoses claimed 562 people in Montgomery County and 64,000 in the United States the previous year. Tests on 100 of the overdose cases here showed 99 percent tested positive for fentanyl, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

RELATED: Residents weigh in on drug crisis: ‘People are in despair and hopeless’

Sheila Humphrey presented information this week to the support group Families of Addicts, encouraging the organization to invest in the cheap test strips that look similar to a pregnancy test and cost around $1.

Humphrey, who said she is a peer advocate with a family member in recovery, bought the first round of test strips online out of pocket and said by next week the she’ll be ready to hand out the test strips.

“We’re going to make them available to anyone that needs them, whether its a parent or someone in active addiction or even somebody in recovery if for whatever reason they relapse,” she said.

“We’re interested in learning and exploring,” Families of Addicts founder Lori Erion said Thursday following the meeting.

Erion said Families of Addicts would need more information before incorporating test strips into their efforts. But while Erion said she still has questions, the tests trips seems like they could have a place.

RELATED: Prescription opioids fail rigorous new test for chronic pain

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin and up to 100 times stronger than morphine. When drugs like fentanyl are mixed with heroin, it makes it more potent and unpredictable.

Everyone with an addiction is going to be in a different stage of change, Erion said. A test strip might not mean much for someone who is at a point where they don’t care about living anymore, but it might be helpful for someone who is thinking about treatment.

“No matter what anyone comes up with, it’s not going to be a blanket solution for everybody,” she said.

Humphrey said the strips will be a cheap way to get someone to pause for a second and think about what they are doing.

“That’s another second they are pausing and thinking this over,” she said.

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County is researching test strips and seeking guidance from the state, but at this point doesn’t have plans to pass them out.

“It’s being discussed, but there’s no resolution,” Dan Suffoletto, spokesman at Public Health, said.

Erion said one of the layers to the issue is that at this point most heroin has the presence of fentanyl. So unless the test results tell a user how much has been added, they might not provide any new information.

John Hopkins University published a study that shows the low-cost test strips can detect the presence of fentanyl with a high degree of accuracy.

RELATED: Dayton VA opioid prescriptions down 44 percent

The study cautioned that there can still be false results and that public health experts advise that any drug-checking program should include harm reduction counseling, health education, and connection to services including treatment.

Dennis Cauchon, of Harm Reduction Ohio, which advocates for drug policy reform, was at the Dayton meeting to support making these test strips available, and said a user will still use the heroin, but they might reduce the dose.

“You can’t get a heroin user into recovery if they are dead so you need to meet drug users where they are and keep them alive for another day and this information can keep them alive for another day,” he said.

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Winter Weather Advisory in effect; slick roads likely

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 4:24 AM
Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 12:01 AM

Icy conditions expected for early St. Patrick's Day.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through noon. Mixed precipitation with ice accumulation up to one-tenth of an inch is expected. Be prepared for slippery roads.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


    • Increasing clouds, freezing rain and sleet develop after midnight
    • Icy early St. Patrick’s Day
    • Clearing, milder to end the weekend

>> 5-Day Forecast


Overnight: Expect freezing rain/sleet to become widespread after 3 or 4 a.m. with slick spots developing. Up to one-tenth inch of ice accumulation is possible by morning, creating for slippery travel conditions. Temperatures will fall into the upper 20s.

>> County-by-County Weather 

Saturday: A wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet will be likely in the morning. As temperatures climb, precipitation will change to just rain showers by late morning with improving conditions in the afternoon. It will remain mostly cloudy as we dry out late in the day. Highs will reach back into the lower 40s.

Sunday: Sunny skies will end the weekend with milder temperatures reaching into the lower 50s.

>>Look for Venus, Mercury in the March evening sky

Monday: Clouds will be on the increase. There will be the chance for a few showers toward late evening or into the night. It will become breezy with highs in the lower 50s.

Tuesday: Cloudy skies are expected with rain showers during the day mixing with or changing to snow showers late in the day or evening. Highs will be in the lower 40s but fall into the 30s with blustery conditions.

Wednesday: Snow showers will be around, possibly mixed with rain. Highs will be in the upper 30s.

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Car overturns in 3-vehicle crash in Trotwood

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 10:52 PM

Car overturns in 3-vehicle crash in Trotwood

One car landed on its top in a three-vehicle crash tonight on Olive Road at Bradfield Drive.

The crash was reported at 10 p.m.

The overturned vehicle was headed south on Olive Road when the driver hit other vehicles. In the overturned vehicle, one of the two occupants was taken to Miami Valley Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, Trotwood police said.

The crash remains under investigation.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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2 killed in crash north of New Carlisle

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 2:49 PM
Updated: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 7:15 PM

Injuries reported in accident north of New Carlisle

UPDATE @ 7:15 p.m.

Two people succumbed to their injuries in a two-vehicle crash this afternoon north of New Carlisle.

Vickie Owens, 46, of Springfield, and Roger Littlejohn, 75, of New Carlisle, were identified as the two drivers. They both were trapped and flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where they died of their injuries, the Springfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported.

>> Truck strikes SUV, killing Celina man in Mercer County

According to preliminary investigation, at around 2:20 p.m. Owens was headed south on Ohio 235 in her 2012 Hyundai when she went left of center. She struck a 2010 Toyota Tacoma headed north, driven by Littlejohn. A passenger in the Tacoma, Harvey Zimmerman, 87, of Christiansburg, was taken by squad to Miami Valley Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, the patrol stated. 

Neither alcohol nor drugs are considered to be factors in the crash that remains under investigation.

UPDATE @ 3:25 p.m.

CareFlight has been dispatched to the scene of the accident, we will update you with the latest details. 


Multiple people are reportedly trapped and possibly injured in a crash on North Dayton Lakeview Road this afternoon.

The crash was reported around 2:30 p.m. in the 5700 block of North Dayton Lakeview.

A medical helicopter was reportedly placed on standby for the crash.

We’re working to gather additional information on the crash.

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Horizon Science Academy staff member fired over threat

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 7:33 AM
Updated: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 9:45 PM

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

UPDATE @ 9:45 p.m.:

Horizon Science Academy Dayton High School fired a long-term substitute teacher who admitted to threatening the school, spokesman Christopher Murphy stated in a release issued Friday night.

Murphy identified the staff member as Shari Gann-Spearman, an employee since October 2017. He said Horizon administrators were alerted to a comment reportedly made by her to another staff member threatening the charter school at 250 Shoup Mill Road.

>> Student arrested for making threats at Springfield H.S. charged with felony

According to the release: “HSA takes the safety and security of our school community very seriously, and as a result of the school’s internal investigation, where Spearman admitted to threatening the school, Spearman has been terminated effective immediately.”

HSA collaborated with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and Dayton police, Murphy said.

UPDATE @ 12:43 p.m.:

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Friday they are investigating an alleged threat made by a Horizon Science Acadamy staff member, who is now on administrative leave.

“We'll make sure that the threat that was made that it's not carried out, to figure out if it is a viable threat or if it was someone just upset at the end of the day,” said Chief Deputy Rob Streck with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.  “If that occurs and we find out that it was a viable threat, then yes they could be facing charges.”

Streck added the threat that was said to have been made was not made against the school, students, teachers or staff.


A Horizon Science Academy staff member has been placed on administrative leave for making threats against the school, according to school officials.

The employee, who has not been identified, made a comment to another staff member threatening the school, according to a statement from spokesperson Christopher Murphy.

>> Student arrested for making threats at Springfield H.S. charged with felony

“HSA takes the safety of and security of our school very seriously, and the staff member was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation,” Murphy said.

Local authorities were contacted, according to the school.

Details of the threat have not been made public.

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