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Tuesday, 06 November 2018 13:40

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 11/10/18

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There have now been over 1,300 opioid lawsuits filed by states, cities, countries, Native American tribes and labor unions throughout our country. The New York Times said resolving these lawsuits could be the most daunting legal challenge our nation has faced. Last December all the opioid cases filed in federal court across the country were consolidated into what’s called multidistrict litigation or an MDL, to be presided over by a single judge in Cleveland, Ohio and his name is Judge Dan Polster. 
 
Today’s podcast features excerpts of community forum where Judge Polster spoke at the Siegal Lifelong Learning Program. He discusses the challenges of assigning responsibility and calculating damages. If cases are not settled under the MDL, they go back to their districts of origin. If a settlement is reached, the money goes towards funding recovery and to help communities offset the millions of dollars expended fighting the opioid crisis across our country. Tune in to this podcast to learn how settlement in these historic proceedings could fund America’s recovery for years to come.
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 13:36

Cover 2 Podcast: 11/03/18

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Stanford University researchers developed a mathematical model that could help public health officials and policymakers decrease the effects of the opioid epidemic, which took the lives of roughly 49,000 Americans in 2017. 
 
The model includes data about addictions, prescriptions and overdoses in the United States which can be used for “what if” scenarios similar to those that business leaders run through to project how changing product features or prices affect sales and profits, said Margaret Brandeau, PhD, the Coleman F. Fung Professor in the School of Engineering and a professor of management science and engineering who worked on the study.
 
The paper cites the hard facts of the opioid crisis: Between 1990 and 2010, there was a 400 percent spike in prescriptions for opioid painkillers. Today, roughly 3.5 million Americans suffer from an addiction to opioids as a result of being exposed to opioid pills. Yet, as doctors have begun responding to the crisis by reducing prescriptions, overdose deaths have increased because those addicted to pills and unable to obtain prescription medication, are buying heroin as an alternative. And much of the heroin supply found in the US is now laced with fentanyl, making it 50 times more potent. 
 
Unfortunately, the model indicates the interventions studied can only make a small dent in the death toll which just goes to show the magnitude of the crisis. Researchers hope this model can aid policymakers in selecting the best mix of interventions to fight the epidemic. 
 
Today Greg is joined today by Allison Pitt, one of the research team members from Stanford University to discuss this innovative study. Listen as they discuss how it can be used by policy makers and community leaders to help ease the opioid crisis in our country.
Tuesday, 23 October 2018 13:13

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 10/27/18

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Treatment for addiction and rehabilitation is currently a $35 billion dollar industry and continues to climb. There are many honest and reputable organizations out there, but some are unfortunately often seeking personal gain from individuals who are in crisis. They exploit those seeking treatment with addiction treatment scams and those suffering from Substance Use Disorder (SUD) when people are most vulnerable. 
 
For today’s podcast, Greg met with Dan Sevigny, Mental Health Coach, and Co-Founder of Recovery X. This is an organization dedicated to providing people reliable treatment options and connecting them to the appropriate facilities based on their own specific needs. Recovery X is actually a growing movement of experts, thought leaders and even those in recovery themselves. These individuals are dedicated to providing high-quality resources to those who are fighting addiction and paving the way for a model organization.
Tuesday, 16 October 2018 11:45

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 10/20/18

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The opioid epidemic has devastated our country claiming many loved ones along the way. Back in November of 2017, Bill Sternberg, USA Today editorial page Editor, lost his son Scott to an overdose. Through his grief, Bill decided to share Scott’s story in an attempt to help spread awareness and possibly help others struggling with this disease. 
 
Scott was prescribed a 30-day prescription for opioids coming off an emergency surgical procedure. Although it was considered common practice, this is, unfortunately many people’s introduction to opioids and can often start them down the path of addiction. Scott, like many others, lost his battle with opioids shortly after. 
 
Greg joins Bill as the two of them discuss many of the obstacles that people face when battling this disease. One of the largest hurdles is to break the stigma behind addiction and avoiding dangerous clichés, such as “hitting rock bottom.” Hear Greg and Bill discuss how the epidemic has evolved and various steps our country has taken to combat the crisis.
Tuesday, 09 October 2018 10:56

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 10/13/18

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Back in 2015, The White House confirmed that the opioid epidemic cost America around $504 billion. Employees with pain medication use disorder cost organizations more than three times the average worker. This has caused a new crisis to emerge in today’s economy. There aren’t enough workers who are able to pass a drug test to fill all of the available openings. Other than the skyrocketing cost of employee healthcare, absenteeism and high turnover rates have also plagued companies throughout America. 
 
Today’s podcast, Greg meets with Kathleen Herath, AVP of Well-Being and Safety at Nationwide Insurance. They are also joined by Robert Hardin-Leeth, Director of Safety to discuss employee wellness and the Nationwide Substance-Free Workplace Program. The program offers two different perspectives; monitoring and education. This includes not only random drug testing, but also counseling and intervention. Listen for more details on how Nationwide maintains a safe work environment, while also getting employees the treatment that they need.
Tuesday, 02 October 2018 12:05

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 10/06/18

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Almost every single American has been impacted by the opioid crisis. Whether it’s a friend, loved one or our own personal struggle with addiction, the epidemic has affected millions in this nation. The book "American Fix" is a sort-of memoir of Ryan Hampton’s struggle with opioid abuse and his journey. Hampton is a National Addiction Recovery Advocate, as well as a former White House staffer who has dedicated his life to exposing and ending this crisis. 
 
In “American Fix,” Hampton calls for political leaders to rise up and take a firm stance on opioids and even challenges politicians to make a pledge to address this issue. He also touches on the Facing Addiction Across America Project, where Hampton himself documented his own travels across the country in which he visited various regions that were severely hit by the epidemic. Check out some of these programs that Hampton has partnered with, such as Rise Together, Rebel Recovery and also Indigo Life out of Dayton, OH. 
 
For this podcast, Greg joins Hampton and discusses his 10-year battle with addiction and then his journey through recovery. Listen to hear more of his story and how Hampton has become a leading voice for those in recovery today.
Wednesday, 26 September 2018 11:34

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 09/29/18

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Since the birth of the U.S. Attorney’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force, there have been many advancements in the fight against opioid abuse. One of their many achievements is the availability of Narcan and making it more widespread throughout communities. Also, law enforcement has developed new protocols for booking drug traffickers and hospitals have furthered education with their physicians in an attempt to change prescribing practices.
 
In this second half of this two-part series, Greg continues to share highlights from the conference that was held in Cleveland on September 6th called “Opioids: A Crisis Still Facing Our Entire Community” and discusses the progress of The Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium. 
 
Listen to today’s podcast to learn more about the innovative programs that are making a difference in the opioid epidemic here in Northeast Ohio.
Wednesday, 19 September 2018 09:33

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 09/22/18

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In late 2013, many of Northeast Ohio’s leading institutions joined forces to formulate a Community Action Plan, a document to serve as a master plan for communities as they move forward in their fight against the opioid epidemic. The Action Plan was divided into four categories which eventually morphed into four subcommittees: Education and Prevention, Healthcare Policy and Treatment; Law Enforcement; and Data and Analysis. This group that formulated the Action Plan continued to meet every month as part of what became known as the U.S. Attorney’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force. 
In the first episode of this two part series, Greg shares highlights from the conference that was held in Cleveland on September 6th called “Opioids: A Crisis Still Facing Our Entire Community” where the group reconvened to review their progress and revise the Community Action Plan. 
Listen to today’s podcast to learn about the innovative programs that are making a difference in the opioid epidemic here in Northeast Ohio.
Tuesday, 11 September 2018 11:06

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 09/15/18

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One of the major contributing factors to the opioid epidemic has been linked to the over-prescribing of opioids for pain relief. Treatment methods, such as chiropractic care, have been offered in many states as an alternative to prescribing opioids. Chiropractors practicing in Ohio participated in a recent survey regarding coverage from Ohio’s largest payers. The results were alarming. According to the statistics, both public and private payers favor opioid prescriptions over alternative treatments, which can very well contribute to the ongoing epidemic. 
 
Greg is joined by Dr. Aaron McMichael and Dr. Vern Saboe on this podcast and the three discuss alternative pain methods and why it is vital to get insurance companies behind non-drug treatments. The state of Oregon recently revised their guidelines after many successfully lobbied to get these larger healthcare payers to extend their coverage to non-pharmacologic methods. Hear how alternative pain treatment can be a key component to lessen the dependency on pharmaceuticals and combat the growing crisis.
Wednesday, 05 September 2018 09:08

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 09/08/18

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We’ve profiled many programs on our series that are designed to get people into treatment for substance use disorder. We’ve done episodes on QRT teams in Colerain Ohio, the DART program in Toledo, the PAARI program from Gloucester, Massachusetts, Safe Stations in Manchester, New Hampshire and AnchorED in Providence, Rhode Island. The goal of each of these programs is to get people get into treatment. But what if they’re not ready? Today Greg interviews Brendan Cox, the Director of Policing Strategies for LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion), a program that begins before someone is ready for treatment. 
 
L.E.A.D offers multiple support services, including transitional housing or even drug treatment, to offenders to get them on a guided path towards behavioral change. This form of treatment is in response to various public health issues, such as untreated mental illness, addiction, poverty and homelessness. In loosening the dependence on the justice system, programs such as LEAD have increased the effectiveness of treatment and provided additional opportunities to individuals that previously they may not have had.
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