Opioid drugs claim childrens’ lives

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 3:12 PM


            CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

The opioid epidemic ravaging Ohio’s adult population has also claimed hundreds of thousands of children and adolescents as victims, based on a new study that found poison centers across the country receive an average of 32 calls a day about youths who have ingested prescription opioid drugs.

Children age 5 and younger who swallowed prescription medications, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, accounted for about 60 percent of the 188,468 calls tracked from 2000 through 2015, according to the study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.

RELATED: Workers under employers watch for opioid use

Young children were less likely than teenagers to be admitted to a hospital for opioid poisoning, according to the study. But children are perhaps most vulnerable to the potentially lethal consequences of prescription opioids, which have accounted for tens of thousands of adult deaths in Ohio over the past decade, coinciding with a dramatic increase in the number of prescriptions written for opioids, according to Henry Spiller, director of the poison center, and one of the studies authors.

“If you’re an adult who weighs 200 pounds, a single prescription opioid tablet may make you drowsy. But if you only weigh 22 pounds, like an average 1-year-old, it could be fatal,” Spiller said, referring to the increased toxicity of opioid exposure for people with smaller body masses.

RELATED: Pill bags let users dispose of prescription drugs safely

Overall, there were 175 fatalities in children and adolescents under age 20 across the U.S. during the study period, according to data analyzed from the National Poison Data System.

All of the child victims ingested opioids by “just going out and putting things in their mouths,” Spiller said, while teenagers were more likely to take the drugs intentionally.

“The teenagers knew where the drugs were available in the home, and they ended up either stealing them for abuse or to commit suicide,” said Spiller, who noted the rate of prescription opioid–related suspected suicides among teenagers increased by 52.7 percent during the study period.

RELATED: County strained by efforts to curb drug deaths

As dire as the situation may seem, policies aimed at fighting opioid addiction, including Gov. John Kasich’s efforts to shut down so-called “pill mills” in Ohio, have had a positive impact in recent years, Spiller said.

According to the study, the annual number and rate of opioid exposure for all youth under age 20 began to decline from 2009 to 2015 — when many state and federal opioid drug policies and prescribing guidelines were implemented — after surging by 86 percent in the prior decade.

But the study also uncovered disturbing trends that continue to threaten the lives of young children, in particular.

For example, contrary to trends for other prescription opioids, exposure to buprenorphine, otherwise known as Saboxone, increased rapidly in the final three years of the study.

And children age 5 and younger accounted for 90 percent of exposures to buprenorphine, a less potent opioid prescribed to ween addicts off more powerful opioids, such as Vicodin and Percocet.

“That really stood out to us,” Spiller said. “Almost all of the exposure to buprenorphine was in children, and we don’t know why.”

Air Force Museum reopened; boil advisory remains for parts of WPAFB

Published: Monday, September 18, 2017 @ 9:32 AM
Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 2:15 PM

Crew ruptured a water main while installing new pipes

UPDATE @ 2:15 p.m. (Sept. 19): 

A water main break flooded an undetermined number of buildings at Wright-Patterson in Area B and led to a two-hour delay in reporting to work for some employees Tuesday, a spokesman said.

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Boil drinking water advisories were lifted in some buildings but remained in effect for others until base environmental personnel were able to test the water as a precaution, according to spokesman Bryan Ripple.

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The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force closed Monday after the water main break along Springfield Street but reopened Tuesday. Drinking water fountains were off-limits, however, until they were tested at the museum, Ripple said.

The water main break impacted some buildings in Area B west of K Street, he said. The extent of water damage was not immediately available.

UPDATE @ 1:14 p.m.: (Sept. 18)

The National Museum of the United States Air Force and some offices in Area B will close for the remainder of the day due to lack of water service, according to base personnel.

TRENDING: Multiple overdose patients driven to Sidney hospital

“Base engineers have been unable to restore service after a water main break earlier this morning along Springfield Street adjacent to the base perimeter,” the base said in a prepared statement. “Once service is restored, a precautionary boil advisory for all drinking water in affected facilities will remain in effect until Installation Bioenvironmental Engineers have tested the water and deem it safe to drink.”

A drinking water advisory was issued as a precaution for areas west of K Street in Area B, said Wright-Patterson spokesman Bryan Ripple.

“Only portions of Area B are impacted right now,” he said.

Base spokesman Daryl Mayer said crews were working to fix the water main by the end of the day.

“We’ll have to do an investigation to try and determine what the exact cause of the break was,” he said.

INITIAL REPORT: (Sept. 18)

Around eight to 12 inches of water have flooded a portion of Springfield Street near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base after a construction crew struck a water main Monday morning. \

Officials on the scene said a construction crew was working on replacing underground pipes in the area of Springfield Street and Ohio 444 when a water main was hit by a piece of equipment. 

State troopers said the roadway is passable and remains open. 

There were no reports of boil advisories issued. 

We’ll update this page as we learn more. 

Barbecue rattlesnake sounded good, but it landed man in hospital for 2 weeks 

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 1:32 PM

Dangerous Snakes

An Arizona man learned the hard way that it’s not a good idea to play with rattlesnakes after spending two weeks in the hospital for snake bite injuries.

>> Read more trending news

It seems Victor Pratt, 48, decided he wanted barbecue rattlesnake during a family birthday party, according to Inside Edition

“I know to cook them and cut the heads off and stuff,” Pratt said. “They taste like chicken. It’s not bad,” he told Inside Edition.

But, Pratt’s plan backfired after he told FOX10 that he was “playing with it like little kids do.” 

His hand slipped and the reptile attacked. It bit Pratt twice, once in the neck, which doctors said was dangerous because his throat could swell shut, according to FOX10

Pratt was just fine in the end, but he did need 26 vials of anti-venom to recover. 

He told Fox10 he will not be playing with rattlesnakes anymore. 

>> Related: Snake bites man on tongue as victim tries to kiss the reptile 

Read more here

Craigslist killer appeals death sentence to Ohio Supreme Court

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 2:10 PM
Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 2:10 PM


            Richard Beasley addresses the court after sentencing in his capital murder case by Summit Common Pleas Judge Lynne S. Callahan on April 04, 2013 in Akron. Beasley was given the death sentence on three counts and jail time for other counts. (Akron Beacon Journal file photo)
Richard Beasley addresses the court after sentencing in his capital murder case by Summit Common Pleas Judge Lynne S. Callahan on April 04, 2013 in Akron. Beasley was given the death sentence on three counts and jail time for other counts. (Akron Beacon Journal file photo)

The Craigslist Killer is appealing his death sentence to the Ohio Supreme Court, saying the huge swell of national publicity deprived him of a fair trial in Summit County.

The high court will hear oral arguments next week from Richard Beasley, one of two people convicted in the murders of three men lured to a southeastern Ohio farm with job postings on Craigslist.org in 2011.

Beasley was convicted in 2013 of three murders, attempted murder of another man, robbery, kidnapping and other charges and sentenced to death. His co-defendant Brogan Rafferty, who was a minor at the time, was convicted in 2012 and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Beasley advertised a farm caretaker job on Craiglist. When Ralph Geiger of Akron, David Pauley of Virginia and Tim Kern of Massillon responded to the job ad, Beasley shot them in the head.

A fourth man, Scott Davis, of South Carolina, escaped when he was shot in the elbow. Davis ran for help and police began investigating.

In his appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, Beasley is making 11 legal arguments to challenge his convictions and sentence, including improper use of hearsay testimony against him and pre-trial publicity prejudiced the jury in the case.

The Ohio Attorney General’s office maintains that the hearsay evidence was admissible and Beasley never raised concerns at the time of trial about the publicity surrounding the case.

Related: Trooper advertised traffic stop sex on Craigslist

The case, which was investigated by the FBI, generated international headlines.

Rafferty, now 22, is incarcerated at Mansfield Correctional Institution. Beasley, 58, is on Death Row at Chillicothe Correctional Institution.

Related: Ohio executes killer convicted in 1992 homicides

Navy hospital apologizes for staff's 'inappropriate' photos of newborns

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 11:41 AM

Naval Hospital Issues Apology For Staff's "Inappropriate" Photos Of Newborns

A picture of staff members inappropriately handling a newborn at Florida’s Naval Hospital Jacksonville has gone viral, and the hospital said the staff members involved in the incident will face legal action.

>> Read more trending news

Naval Hospital Jacksonville officials said that they’re aware of a video that was posted to social media and appears to show a nurse inappropriately handling a newborn.

The hospital responded with a statement on Facebook that garnered thousands of shares. 

Naval Hospital Jacksonville's Commanding Officer sends: We are aware of a video / photo posted online. It's...

Posted by Naval Hospital Jacksonville on Monday, September 18, 2017

A photo of the incident appears to show staff inappropriately gesturing to a newborn and calling the infant “Satan.”

The photo is captioned, “How I currently feel about these mini Satans."

The hospital called the images outrageous, unacceptable and incredibly unprofessional. Naval Hospital Jacksonville released a statement that reads in part, “We have identified the staff members involved. They have been removed from patient care and they will be handled by the legal system and military justice.”

The hospital said it is still notifying involved parties.