Published: Friday, 31 March 2017 09:52
By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor
COLUMBUS - State officials came together Thursday to announce new prescribing guidelines for opioids in an effort to help prevent addiction. Dr. Mark Hurst, medical director for Ohio's Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services said that the state has been working for six years to fight opiate abuse. Strides that have been made so far include:
*2.5 milion fewer opiate prescriptions in Ohio
*162 million fewer doses of opiates dispensed
*80% less doctor shopping
*340% increase in Ohio's online prescription monitoring system
Dr. Hurst said the guildelines set the prescribing limit for the first episode of acute pain to a seven day supply for adults and five day supply for patients under 18. Patients and parents for juveniles will have to be advised of the benefits and risks of the medication. The exceptions are for cancer, hospice and MAT (medication assisted treatment for addiction) patients.
Dr. Mary Applegate, medical director for the Ohio Department of Medicaid said these limits are not random. Overprescribing patterns were looked at through OARRS, Ohio's Automated Rx Reporting System. OARRS is a web-based system that collects information on all outpatient prescriptions for controlled substances that are dispensed by Ohio licensed pharmacies and prescribed or personally furnished by licensed prescribers in Ohio.
Dr. Applegate said, "The issue related to opioid related deaths [is that] young people, folks in their early 20's [are dying]. We have an extra focus on not starting that very first prescription which happens for children and adolescents."
"Doctors still need to be able to alleviate pain and suffering, however they have a tighter system of safety in place to guide safe prescribing," said Dr. Applegate.
Governor John Kasich tweeted, "Ohio is a leader in [reining] in opiate prescriptions and we’re going even further today."
Critics of the new guidelines asked on social media about what happens on day eight for those adults needing opioids for chronic pain. While alternatives will need to be sought, the idea expressed at Thursday's announcement was that that these new guidelines are designed to help families and communities throughout the state.
Published: Friday, 24 March 2017 01:02
By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor
MOUNT VERNON - Law enforcement efforts to crack down on the sale of illegal drugs in the community have resulted in awards for outstanding service at the MVPD.
Public service, integrity, loyallty and dedication. Those are the qualities of the 2016 MVPD Officer of the year, Ptl. Jessica Butler.
Chief Roger Monroe says Officer Butler had to change positions this year and take over a new role of drug interdiction. Monroe said, "Since she's been in this position, [she's] been killing it. I can't even tell you the amount of arrests [that] are being made, the contacts, and the production she has had since [she] has been in this position."
Officer Butler has worked in the department 14 years.
MVPD 2016 Officer of the Year Ptl.Jessica Butler is congratulated by Chief Roger Monroe Thursday afternoon - KP Photo by Marty Trese
The Bartlett Award is named for the late Thomas Bartlett, MVPD's Chief from 1983-2006. The award is presented for outstanding performance in the line of duty. Chief Monroe says the award is given to the officer who also went above and beyond for the year. "In this case, we had a joint operation with BCI, MVPD and KCSO in working an ongoing drug investigation on a business that we have been trying to get into for over two years," said Monroe. MVPD had taken complaints about the business for five years.
Monroe continued "We had come to a standstill, we didn't have the manpower, so we reached out to BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigation). They took the lead on the investigation. During that investigation several MVPD officers assisted helping with surveillance, evidence collection, search warrants, and tagging evidence."
Drugs, money, and guns were seized from that operation. It's been estimated that business did about a half million dollars of drug trade a year. The business has been shut down Chief Monroe couldn't give more information about the business or the particiulars of the case because it is still in litigation.
Monroe says he couldn't decide on one person to give the award to saying based on "Their outstanding efforts and their long hours and extra time, the whole division deserves the award." The detectives are Sgt. Beth Marti, Cpl. James DeChant, and Det. Timothy Arnold.
L to R: MVPD Detectives Sgt. Beth Marti, Cpl James DeChant, and Timothy Arnold - KP Photo by Marty Trese
Detective Sgt. Marti said, "Any award in this field is amazing. We hear a lot of negativity. Any time we're recognized for working hard it's really, really awesome."
Detectives DeChant and Arnold said receiving the Bartlett award is a great honor.
Chief Monroe said "These guys did an outstanding job this year and the awards are well deserved."