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Opioid drugs claim childrens’ lives

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


            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.”

Troopers: Fenwick HS student, 17, dies in crash with 15-year-old driver

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 8:40 PM
Updated: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 7:45 PM

A Bishop Fenwick High School student died after he was ejected in a crash Thursday night just southeast of Springboro, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.  

Noah J. Theiss, 17, of Franklin Twp., was a passenger in his parents’ car driven by Hosney Mousa, 15, of Washington Twp. in Montgomery County. The car crashed about 8:10 p.m., on Springboro Road near Red Lion-Five Points Road, in Clearcreek Twp., Warren County, according to troopers. 

“He was so young. I don’t think he should have died this way,”Gabe Hoel, a friend of the victim, said Friday. 

MORE: Sugarcreek Twp. remembers three students killed in crash

Investigation determined Mousa was driving the 2013 Honda Accord east on Springboro Road when he lost control. The car traveled off the right side of the roadway, striking a utility pole and rolling over several times.  

The crash occurred on a winding section of the road, near the Sycamore Preserve Park southeast of Springboro, according to authorities.  

Theiss, the right front passenger, was partially ejected through a sun roof and pronounced dead at the scene, according reports. 

MORE: Dayton teen killed in weekend crash 

A rear passenger, Faith N. Armbuser, 16, of Springboro, was treated and released from Atrium Medical Center in Middletown. 

“He’s 17. He flew through the roof,” according to a call, apparently from Armbruser, to 911.  

Mousa was treated and released from Dayton Children’s Hospital South Campus in Springboro.  

“I don’t know the address. We’re in the middle of nowhere,” the caller told a 911 operator. “Please help me, he’s dead.”  

“Please help me, I’m so scared,” the 911 call continued.  

A woman who saw the crash while visiting a nearby creek at the Sycamore Reserve Park with her husband and two children took over the call and reported the other boy at the scene, apparently Mousa, was walking around “kind of out of it.”  

On Friday, Lt. Chuck O’Bryon of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said there was no indication that alcohol or drug use were involved, but investigators were awaiting toxicology tests.  

O’Bryon said it appeared the crash was the result of a combination of driver inexperience, high speed and failure to wear a seat belt.  

It was unclear why Mousa was driving.  

According to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ website, a driver can be issued a temporary instruction permit identification card starting at 15 years and six months. The temporary permit must be held for at least six months, among other requirements that must be completed, before a drivers’ license can be issued.  

Hoel said he was under the impression that Mousa had a temporary permit.  

Mousa was unlicensed, but even with a temporary permit, Mousa was not supposed to have driven as he is alleged to have Thursday night at the time of the crash, O’Bryon said.  

“He has to be with a parent or guardian,” he said.  

Mousa was identified as the driver after conflicting reports at the scene, O’Bryon said. 

“It’s a tragedy,” O’Bryon said.  

O’Bryon said it could be several weeks or longer before the case is presented to Warren County prosecutors.  

Andrew Barczak, principal at Bishop Fenwick High School in Middletown, confirmed Theiss attended the school, in a voice mail left as he headed to graduation.  

Hoel said he thought of Theiss as a brother.  

“I was really good friends with Noah. He was like a bigger brother to me,” said Hoel, recalling he met Theiss through his brothers, Dylan and Tristan Theiss.  

“He would always make everything fun. He was just a positive person,” Hoel said.  

Hoel said he and the Theiss brothers would often drive around together. He recalled Theiss taking him to Kings Island Amusement Park.  

“He just had an outgoing spirit. He was fun to be around,” Hoel added.  

Hoel said he was less familiar with Mousa. He said Mousa and Theiss became friends after Theiss moved to the area from Gratis, a village in Preble County.

MORE: Two teens die in failure-to-control crash

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UPDATE @ 11:10 a.m.

A 17-year-old Springboro boy who died in a crash Thursday night was identified as Noah J. Theiss. He was a passenger in a Honda Accord driven by Hosney Mousa, 15, of Centerville, that crashed about 8:10 p.m., on Springboro Road near Red Lion-Five Points Road, in Clearcreek Twp. A rear passenger was identified as Faith N. Armbuser, 16, of Springboro, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

UPDATE @ 2:25 a.m. (May 26) 

A 15-year-old was driving a car that crashed in Clearcreek Twp. and resulted in the death of a 17-year-old boy from Springboro Thursday night. 

Around 8:10 p.m. Thursday, state troopers and medics were dispatched to a single-vehicle, rollover crash on Springboro Road near Red Lion-Five Points Road. 

A 2013 Honda sedan, driven by a 15-year-old male from Centerville, was traveling east on Springboro Road when the driver lost control, struck a utility pole and overturned several times, state troopers said. 

The crash ejected the front-seat passenger who was pronounced dead at the scene. Troopers identified the victim as 17-year-old Noah Theiss of Springboro. 

The driver was treated and released from to Dayton Children’s Hospital South Campus in Springboro. A back-seat passenger, a 16-year-old Springboro girl, was treated and released from Atrium Medical Center in Middletown.

UPDATE @ 10 p.m. (May 25)

One juvenile was killed and two others injured tonight in a rollover crash on Springboro Road in Clearcreek Twp.

“Upon arrival there was one fatality,” Sgt. Bryan Cook of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Lebanon Post said.

There were three youths in the car. The other two were taken to local hospitals with injuries described as not life-threatening, Cook said.

>>VIDEO: Trooper gives update on crash

UPDATE @ 9:25 p.m.

A crash with ejection tonight on Springboro Road turned deadly.

The Warren County Coroner’s Office is on scene.

There was at least one other injury reported in the crash.

FIRST REPORT

Crews were called to a serious injury crash tonight in Clearcreek Twp. in Warren County.

The crash was reported around 8:15 p.m. on Springboro Road near Red Lion 5 Points Road. The road is closed in the area of the crash.

One person was reported ejected, and there was at least one other injury, with CareFlight initially placed on standby.

We have crews on the way and will update this report.

UK lowers security level from ‘critical’ to ‘severe’

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 8:39 AM

A British army soldier (R) and a police officer (L) secure an entrance to Downing Street in central London.
NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images

Great Britain lowered its security threat level from “critical” to “severe” on Saturday, Prime Minister Theresa May said.

>> Read more trending news

Earlier, police hunting a suspected network behind Salman Abedi, the bomber who killed 22 people on Monday night during a concert in Manchester, said they had made two further arrests overnight as they closed in on other possible cell members, Reuters reported. 

As a result, soldiers who have been assisting police would be withdrawn from Britain's streets at midnight on Monday.

"A significant amount of police activity has taken place over the last 24 hours and there are now 11 suspects in custody," May said.

May cautioned, however, that the lesser threat is still a dangerous one.

"The public should be clear about what this means. A threat level of severe means an attack is highly likely,” she said. “The country should remain vigilant."

The threat assessment has returned to the level it was at prior to the Manchester attack.

In Manchester, events planned around the spring bank holiday will go ahead with additional security, including a significant number of armed officers, police said. British officers do not usually carry guns, CNN reported.

Events include the Manchester Games, the Great Manchester Run, and a stadium show by bands including The Courteeners, all of which are likely to attract big crowds. This weekend also marks the start of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar, CNN reported.

 

 

British Airways says computer glitches causing delays

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 7:19 AM

British Airways aircraft on the tarmac at London's Heathrow Airport.
Steve Parsons - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Computer problems are causing long lines and flight delays for British Airways passengers worldwide, the BBC reported Saturday. Airline officials apologized for the "global system outage" and said they were "working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible."

>> Read more trending news 

Heathrow Airport said it was "working closely" with British Airways to solve the issue.

British Airways announced later Saturday that it had canceled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick until  5 p.m.

It is not known how many flights were affected, but passengers have reported issues at a number of airports through social media.

Journalist Martyn Kent told the BBC he was sitting on a plane for 90 minutes at Heathrow Airport. He said the airplane’s captain told passengers the computer problems were "catastrophic."

Philip Bloom said he had been waiting in Belfast on board a Heathrow-bound flight for two hours.

"We haven't been told very much just that there is a worldwide computer system failure,” he told the BBC. “We were told that we couldn't even get on other flights because they are unable to see what flights we can be moved to."

Bloom later said that his flight was able to take off and fly to London.

No injuries reported in Clark County barn fire, investigation continues

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 12:04 AM

UPDATE @ 6:44 a.m.

No one was injured and no animals were harmed in a Friday night barn fire in Madison Twp., according to Clark County dispatchers. 

Dispatchers said the last crew left the scene of the fire in the 6200 block of Old Columbus Cincinnati Road around 2:12 a.m. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to dispatchers, and a damage estimate was not available. 

Dispatchers said Madison Twp., Cedarville and Jamestown fire crews assisted in putting out the fire.

INITIAL REPORT (May 26)

A barn was engulfed when crews arrived late Friday night in Madison Twp., Clark County.

The fire was reported at a property on the south side of Old Columbus Cincinnati Road.

Additional crews were requested from Cedarville and Jamestown.

There were no reports initially of animals or people harmed, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office dispatch said.

The fire happened as strong storms with lightning and thunder moved through the area, but it’s not clear whether a lightning strike sparked the blaze.

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