7 powerful consequences of the opioid epidemic that help explain its devastation in Ohio

Published: Friday, October 27, 2017 @ 2:29 PM

What You Need To Know: Opioids

President Donald Trump on Thursday announced that he would roll back regulations to allow state governments looking to access Medicaid funding for drug treatment centers with more than 16 beds.

This news organization has covered all sides of the opioid and overdose spike, from impact on families to effect on public services.

Here are seven of the most powerful consequences of overdoses on southwest Ohio.

Overdoses in all kinds of places

The railroad stretch in Middletown where a Norfolk Southern conductor spotted a woman lying Wednesday on the side of the tracks. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF(Staff Writer)

From the middle of the street to high traffic restaurants, overdoses are happening in some unusual places.

Emergency crews say a Middletown man who overdosed is lucky to be alive after he fell onto nearby railroad tracks.

Dayton police were called to the Arby’s parking lot on Salem Avenue, where a 59-year-old man was overcome by a suspected opioid overdose.Springfield police patrolling on West North Street shortly before midnight allegedly saw Dalton L. Smith, 24, stagger and fall to his knees in the median between West Columbia and West North streets, according to court records. Two children, ages 3 and 5, were standing nearby, police say.

A co-pastor with Sons of Light Ministries said he's glad the man who overdosed on heroin did so in a bathroom at the Dayton church, otherwise help could have come too late.

-- From Another sign of the opioid epidemic: The unusual overdose locations, July 3

Heartbreaking scenes faced by family members

Brian and Courtney Halye pictured on their wedding day, in this photo from Courtney Halye's Facebook page.

The deaths of a Centerville pilot and his wife gained national attention, in part because they were discovered by their four children.

Centerville Police Department released two 9-1-1 calls made by two children in the home where Brian and Courtney Halye were found dead Thursday morning. A 13-year-old boy told the dispatcher, "my two parents, I just woke up, and my parents are on the floor. My sister said they are not waking up." 

-- From Overdoses likely cause of death of Centerville couple, March 16

Drastic measures proposed

After a Journal-News report about Middletown Councilman Dan Picard’s suggestion the city’s public safety services not respond to some overdose calls, officials spent the last several days answering questions from national media outlets, City Manager Doug Adkins (pictured) said. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF 2016(Staff Writer)

Continually frustrated by the overdoses and the cost, some have called for significant changes. Social media reacted strongly when Middletown City Council member Dan Picard asked if it was possible for EMS to not respond to overdose calls.

Noting people with cancer don’t get free chemotherapy from medics nor do people having heart attacks get a free heart bypass in an EMS run, Picard asked if there was a law that requires the city to respond to overdose calls.

-- From Middletown council member: Can we stop responding to overdoses?, June 22

Accidental overdoses on powerful opioids

A sample of fentanyl is seen at the Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory. The highly potent synthetic opioid — often cut with heroin or used alone — is believed to be responsible for much of the increase in local overdose deaths.CHRIS STEWART / STAFF(Staff Writer)

Because of how powerful heroin, fentanyl and other drugs are, even incidental contact by those trying to help has led to overdoses.

The incident highlights the chilling danger to police and the public from an extremely powerful opioid that, at its most potent, just a few granules can kill.  

Fentanyl is so rampant in Ohio, it raises concern that people other than law officers are also at risk of accidental contact with deadly drug residue in places like public restrooms where addicts commonly use drugs, in hospitals where users are treated, and in the homes of drug users.

-- From Ohio cop overdoses after drug stop. Are you in danger of accidental fentanyl exposure?, May 15

Courts and morgues are clogged

A Montgomery County task force recovered drugs, cash and a weapon during an operation this week that netted four arrests and 44 pounds of fentanyl. STAFF/MARK GOKAVI(Staff Writer)

The fentanyl epidemic that has clogged the streets, filled the Montgomery County morgue and launched hundreds of police investigations has led to more federal prosecutions as law enforcement attempts to disrupt the flow of drugs into the area by targeting dealers.

Fentanyl has become such a presence on some streets that police caught an alleged dealer when he flagged down a plain clothes officers’ car.  

“You make room for these cases. You just do,” Brent Tabacchi, assistant U.S. attorney, said of the crush of new cases. “That has meant longer hours for a lot of people here in the office. It means a lot of times we’ve been calling our magistrate judges at 10:30 or 11 o’clock at night to get warrants.  

“We’ve always had some element of that, but when a week or two goes by and we’re not in here at night doing something, it almost seems unusual now.”

-- From ‘That’s what’s killing people’ — Fentanyl clogs morgue, and now courts, June 30

First responders are facing the strain

Middletown paramedics and police officers responded to a drug overdose behind the Midd-Town Carry Out on Central Avenue Monday, June 26 in Middletown. Emergency personnel found a man unconscious, lying between two vehicles across the alley. Paramedics first tried to start an IV, the fastest and most effective way to push Narcan into the man’s system, and when that failed, Narcan was administered through the man’s nose. Then a second IV was started. The entire time, paramedics bagged the gentleman until his oxygen level returned to normal. Two doses of Narcan, twice the normal amount, were used to revive the man, who was transported to Atrium. In the matter of a few minutes, all 17 emergency personnel working Monday night in the city were on calls and the dispatcher requested mutual aid from the Monroe Fire Department. One of those calls was an overdose. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF(Nick Graham)

A summer ridealong with Middletown paramedics this summer produced a powerful photo story by this news organization about what emergency crews face in the field.

Emergency personnel found a man unconscious, lying between two vehicles across the alley. Paramedics first tried to start an IV, the fastest and most effective way to push Narcan into the man’s system, and when that failed, Narcan was administered through the man’s nose. Then a second IV was started. The entire time, paramedics bagged the gentleman until his oxygen level returned to normal.

-- From PHOTOS: Follow Middletown paramedics as they respond to an overdose call, June 30

The huge cost: $8.8 billion in Ohio

Opioid addiction, abuse and overdose deaths cost Ohio from $6.6 billion to $8.8 billion, according to a new report from the C. William Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy at Ohio State University.

The problem is particularly acute in rural areas, where too many have little access to medication-assisted treatment. And the report turns a spotlight to the Dayton area and beyond, saying: “This is a particularly critical issue in the rural areas of Southwest Ohio, where opioid abuse rates are high but local access to treatment is limited.”

-- From Opioids cost Ohio $8.8 billion, Oct. 26

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Humidity builds with threat of storms to start holiday weekend

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 6:55 AM
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 1:15 PM

Very warm and humid this weekend with storms likely today.

Scattered thunderstorms develop into the afternoon with highs in the lower to middle 80s. Severe storms are not expected, but brief heavy rainfall, gusty winds and lightning are possible, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said.

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    • Warm and humid this weekend
    • Scattered thunderstorms expected to start holiday weekend
    • Mainly dry and hot for Memorial Day 

    >> WHIO Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

    >> UV Index: How to protect your skin

    This evening/overnight: Storms will taper off this evening and become partly cloudy overnight with lows in the upper 60s.

    >> How to spot Jupiter through the weekend

    Sunday: Partly sunny, hot and humid. Slight chance for a pop-up shower or storm. Highs in the upper 80s, but feeling like the lower 90s.

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    Memorial Day: Lots of sunshine, hot and humid again for Monday. Highs will top out near 90 degrees with a heat index from 90 to 95 degrees.

    Tuesday: Expect partly cloudy skies with muggy conditions and a high near 90 degrees.

    Wednesday: Skies will become mostly cloudy with scattered showers and storms developing. Highs will drop back into the middle 80s.

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    Noblesville, Indiana middle school shooting: 2 injured, student in custody

    Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 7:47 PM
    Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 1:02 PM

    Shooting at Indiana Middle School

    Police took a middle school student into custody Friday morning on suspicion of firing shots at Indiana’s Noblesville West Middle School, leaving at least two people injured.

    >> Read more trending news

    Update May 26, 1:04 p.m. EDT: The student who was shot on Friday has been identified as 13-year-old Ella Whistler, according to WTTV.

    Her family released her photo and a statement, that she is “doing well” and remains in stable but critical condition.

    In a statement to RTV6, the family thanked law enforcement but asked for privacy at this time.

    “We’d like to thank everyone across the country who has prayed for our family today,” the statement read. “We’ve felt those prayers and appreciate all of them.”

    Update 7:44 p.m. EDT: Jason Seaman, the teacher injured in the shooting, released a statement Friday evening:

    “First of all, thank you to the first responders from Noblesville and Fishers for their immediate action and care. I want to let everyone know that I was injured (but) am doing great. To all the students, you are all wonderful and I thank you for your support. You are the reason I teach.”

    Update 2:50 p.m. EDT: The Indianapolis Star identified the teacher injured in Friday’s shooting at Noblesville West Middle School as Jason Seaman. The newspaper reported he was shot three times while knocking the gun out of the hands of a middle school student who fired shots at the school.

    Jason Seaman’s brother, Jeremy Seaman, told the newspaper that he was not surprised by reports of his brother’s actions. Students have told several news stations that his quick thinking saved an untold number of lives.

    “He’s not really ever been the person to run away,” Jeremy Seaman told the Star. “When the safety of the kids is at hand, it’s not surprising to me that he was going to do what he had to do.”

    Jeremy Seaman told the Star that his brother was undergoing surgery Friday.

    Update 2:39 p.m. EDT: Noblesville police Chief Kevin Jowitt said at a news conference Friday afternoon that the student who opened fire at Noblesville West Middle School earlier in the day asked to be excused from class before returning with a pair of handguns. 

    Jowitt said the student was quickly taken into custody.

    Update 2 p.m. EDT: A Noblesville West Middle School student told WXIN that a science teacher sprang into action Friday after a student opened fire at the school, knocking the gun from the shooter’s hand and likely saving lives.

    The seventh-grade girl, who was not identified, told the news station that “this science teacher bravely swatted that gun away from the gunman’s hands, saving everyone else in that room.”

    Another seventh-grader, Ethan Stonebraker, told The Associated Press that the shooter walked into his science class while students were taking a test.

    "Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground," Stonebraker said. "If it weren't for him, more of us would have been injured for sure."

    It was not immediately clear if the teacher was the same one injured in Friday morning’s shooting. 

    Police said a juvenile and an adult teacher were injured when an unidentified male student opened fire at the school around 9 a.m. Another student also suffered an ankle fracture, according to officials with Riverview Health.

    Update 11:43 a.m. EDT: Vice President Mike Pence thanked law enforcement officers and shared condolences after a shooting at a middle school in his home state, Indiana.

    “Karen and I are praying for the victims of the terrible shooting in Indiana,” Pence wrote on Twitter Friday, referring to his wife, Karen Pence. “To everyone in the Noblesville community -- you are in our hearts and in our prayers.”


    Update 11:28 a.m. EDT: Noblesville police Chief Kevin Jowitt confirmed that a teacher and a juvenile were injured Friday morning in a shooting at Noblesville West Middle School.

    Police did not identify either of the victims. They were taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital and Riley Hospital, respectively, Jowitt said.

    Officials with Riverview Health said earlier Friday that a second student was treated for an ankle fracture after the shooting.

    Authorities had a suspect, identified as a male student, in custody Friday morning.

    Jowitt said Noblesville West Middle School had been cleared by 11:30 a.m. However, he added that authorities also received reports of a threat made at Noblesville High School.

    Police are investigating the report.


    Update 11:18 a.m. EDT: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said he and other officials are monitoring the situation in Noblesville after at least two people were injured in a shooting at Noblesville West Middle School on Friday.


    Authorities are expected to provide additional details about Friday’s shooting in a news conference later in the day.

    Update 10:55 a.m. EDT: Chad Lancaster, whose eighth-grade daughter and sixth-grade son attend Noblesville West Middle School, told the Indianapolis Star that his daughter called her mother, his ex-wife, while hiding under a desk amid reports of an active shooter on campus.

    He told the newspaper he has been unable to get in touch with his son.

    “This is surreal," Lancaster told the Star. "This happens in high school, not here."

    Officials with Riverview Health said one of the two people injured in Friday morning's shooting was taken to the hospital and transfered to Riley Hospital in stable condition. A second person, a student, was being treated for an ankle fracture.


    Officials told the Star earlier Friday that an adult was also injured in the shooting.

    A suspect, who has not been identified, was in custody after the shooting.

    Update 10:40 a.m. EDT: Indiana University Health officials told the Indianapolis Star that an adult and a teenager were injured in Friday’s shooting at Noblesville West Middle School.

    The two have not been identified. Indiana State Police said earlier Friday that they were taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital for treatment of their injuries and that their families had been notified.

    Update 10:20 a.m. EDT: Indiana State Police confirmed two people were taken to a hospital after authorities responded Friday morning to reports of an active shooter at Noblesville West Middle School.


    Officials said a suspect was in custody after the shooting. Authorities were expected to provide additional details at a news conference later Friday.

    Original report: Authorities confirmed around 9:40 a.m. that police had a suspect in custody after responding to a report of an active shooter situation at the middle school.

    Check back for updates to this developing story.

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    Community celebrates honorary street naming for Dean Lovelace

    Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 6:38 AM
    Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 12:45 PM



    The family of Dean Lovelace, the longest-serving Dayton city commissioner, celebrated an honorary street renaming for him Saturday.

    >>Longest-serving Dayton commissioner dies

    Dean Lovelace Drive was unveiled at 11 a.m. at Madden Hills Drive in Dayton.

    The ceremony also included a balloon release in memory of the late commissioner who died last year on Memorial Day weekend at the age of 71.

    Dean Lovelace

    He served as commissioner for 22 years and left the commission in 2016 for health reasons after finishing his sixth term.

    Lovelace was described by friends and peers as a firebrand committed to serving the most needy residents of Dayton.

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

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    Bicyclist struck, killed in Troy; coroner called to scene

    Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 12:14 PM
    Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 1:30 PM

    Bike rider killed.

    UPDATE @ 12:40 p.m.

    A bicyclist was fatally struck just before noon in Troy.

    According to police, the man rode his bike into the path of an oncoming car.

    Both directions in the 900 block of West Main Street, near Madison Street, were shut down while Troy police investigate the man’s death.

    The Miami County coroner was called to the scene.


    A pedestrian was struck and killed today in Troy.

    The crash was reported just before noon in the 900 block of Main Street.

    According to a witness, a man was struck by a vehicle and then thrown into the path of a second vehicle.

    Miami County Sheriff’s Office dispatch confirmed the accident was a fatality.

    We have a crew headed to the scene and will update this report.

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

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