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.”

Piqua police investigate armed robbery at Cassano’s Pizza King

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 2:45 AM

Piqua police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred at Cassano’s Pizza King Wednesday night.

RELATED: $2K+ of suspected stolen merchandise recovered in bust

The incident occurred on Covington Avenue at Sunset Drive in Piqua around 8:50 p.m, according to a press release. 

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Police are asking to speak with two persons of interest in connection with the robbery who were captured on surveillance footage.

If anyone recognizes these individuals, they are urged to call the on-duty shift at 937-440-9911, or to remain anonymous, Submit-A-Tip here .

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

'Vapor Wake' dogs to provide extra security at Macy's Thanksgiving parade

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 2:27 AM

Dogs provided security while floats were being inflated for Thursday's Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
NYPD
Dogs provided security while floats were being inflated for Thursday's Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.(NYPD)

The 91st annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade will have an added layer of security to protect the 1 million spectators expected to attend: a team of 14 Labrador retrievers trained to detect explosives on moving targets in large crowds, Fox News reported.

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The dogs completed an 18-month Vapor Wake program that was developed at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. They are different than normal bomb-sniffing dogs, which can identify explosives in stationary objects, Fox News reported. The Vapor Wake dogs look for mobile threats and can detect the “thermal plumes left behind in a person's wake,” Paul Hammond, the president of Vapor Wake training program VWK9 LLC, told Rolling Stone.

The dogs are trained to avoid the distractions of large crowds and loud noises at large events, and can sense explosive particles Wired reported. 

“You will see our Vapor Wake dogs and other canine dogs on both the balloons and during the route,” NYPD Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan told WABC.

The NYPD used eight Vapor Wake dogs at the Thanksgiving Day parade last year, Fox News reported.

In addition to the dogs, officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors will walk among the crowds, and sharpshooters on rooftops will scan building windows and balconies for anything unusual, police said. 

The parade begins at 9 a.m. and will be broadcast live on NBC. 

Inmate escapes during treatment at Middletown hospital

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 1:32 AM

Deputies from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office are looking for an inmate that escaped custody of the Community Corrections Center staff late Wednesday night. 

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Robert Langford escaped custody of the CCC staff while in the process of being treated at Atrium Medical Center. He was last seen running north from the Atrium Medical Center in the city of Middletown at 8:08 p.m. in a hospital gown.

TRENDING: Deputy pursues car suspected in cell phone store heists

Langford is described as a 31-year-old white male, 6 feet tall, weighing 175 pounds with blue eyes and blond hair. 

He was sentenced to the Community Corrections Center after being convicted of drug offenses.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Robert Langford are urged to contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 513-695-1280 or the Warren County Communications Center at 513-695-2525. 

Deputies: Florida man had pickup repainted to avoid hit-and-run death charge

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 1:57 AM

Deputies said this 1966 Chevrolet pickup truck was involved in a hit-and-run collision that killed a woman. The truck was repainted black after the crash, deputies said.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Deputies said this 1966 Chevrolet pickup truck was involved in a hit-and-run collision that killed a woman. The truck was repainted black after the crash, deputies said.(Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)

A Florida man accused of hitting a pedestrian while driving a pickup truck allegedly attempted to have the vehicle repainted to avoid prosecution, authorities said.

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Henry Earl Riner, 71, of Seffner, was arrested Monday and charged with leaving the scene of a crash with death, tampering with physical evidence and driving while his license was permanently revoked, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

Just before midnight Friday, Linda Kay Fisher, 46, was walking home on a dimly lit road after her shift as a waitress when she was hit and killed by a vehicle, police said. Her body was found in a ditch the next morning, the Times reported.

While authorities were searching for an orange-red truck that was involved in the crash, Riner allegedly was getting it repainted black, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

“A piece of the vehicle found at the scene was a unique color,” sheriff’s Cpl. Larry McKinnon told the Times. "It was like the color of a traffic cone.”

A tip to Crime Stoppers led deputies to Riner, the Times reported.

Deputies said they found a 1966 Chevrolet pickup truck that had recently been painted black. A photo of the truck before the paint job showed the vehicle had been an orange-red color, the Times reported. Damage to the vehicle was consistent with the collision that killed Fisher, deputies said.

Riner was released on $19,000 bail Tuesday afternoon.