Riders on the Storm: On the Front Line of the Opioid Epidemic

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From fatal overdoses to distribution rings getting busted, hardly a day goes by that the opioid crisis in not in the news.  Fetanyl, a designer drug available by mail from China, has hijacked heroin and is overpowering local addicts, often with deadly consequences.

We've seen the toll this drug is taking on grieving families and how law enforcement agencies are struggling to keep up with the explosive growth of the epidemic.  But there's one side of the story that has yet to be told here in Ohio. That of the people on the front lines of the battle against a deadly addiction.  Those tasked with trying to save lives and often pull victims back from the brink of death. The first responders.

Over the course of several months, we embedded our crews with ambulance companies in small towns across Northeast Ohio to get as close as possible to the people living, and dying, in the opioid epidemic.  Tonight at 11 p.m. on Channel 3 News, Riders on the Storm will journey to the front lines of this desperate battle to save lives.  See first-hand the the toll is taking not only on the community in terms of resources and money devoted to combating the epidemic, but also the emotional drain upon the responders fighting to save addicts multiple times a day.

 Members of our team who embedded themselves with local first responders recorded daily video diaries of their experiences on the front lines in the battle against opioid addiction.  This entry took place after producer Chris Cantergiani observed the response on the scene of a fatal overdose.

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In this compelling entry, Chris talks about seeing first-hand how the crisis is depleting resources, both medicinal and human.

Remember, Riders on the Storm airs Tonight at 11 p.m. on Channel 3 News.

 

On Wednesday, investigative producer Chris Cantergiani, digital producer Stephanie Metzger and editor Raquel Hagman held a Facebook Live where they talked about their experiences riding along with first responders and covering this story.