drug addiction

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Demi Lovato's Drug Addiction Was Worse Than Anyone Knew

And more revelations from new documentary

(Newser) - The depth of Demi Lovato's drug addiction becomes clear with the release of Simply Complicated , the second documentary about the singer. The first documentary about her, 2012's Stay Strong, focused on her recovery after she went to rehab at 18 (for self-harming and an eating disorder, along with... More »

Cops: Parents Rubbed Painkiller on Newborn's Gums to Mask Addiction

Three of four kids tested positive for meth

(Newser) - A 3-month-old girl who tested positive for meth, heroin, and morphine was allegedly dosed with a painkiller by her parents hours after her April 9 birth to mask the girl's addiction from hospital staff. The Utah County Sheriff reports that Colby Glen Wilde, 29, and Lacey Dawn Christenson, 26,... More »

Parents Who Can't Stop Using, Kids Sent to Foster Care

The US foster system is overwhelmed because of the opioid epidemic

(Newser) - "I felt like I lost my mom to this pit that I couldn't pull her out of." That's how 20-year-old Brianna McLaughlin describes her mom, Kelly, after the former Head Start caseworker became addicted to OxyContin, then heroin, after neck surgery. As Julia Lurie details for... More »

WVa's Residents Are Taking ODs Into Their Own Hands

Some neighbors are filled with contempt for addicts; others just want to help

(Newser) - Opioid addicts are using and collapsing in public in increasing numbers—their way of ensuring they won't OD and not be found until it's too late, Margaret Talbot explains in the New Yorker . "This is survival to them," she writes. "They're struggling with using... More »

The Letter From 37 Years Ago That Spurred the Opioid Crisis

Doctor's note claimed addiction was 'rare,' and other doctors eagerly spread the news

(Newser) - Nearly 40 years ago, a respected doctor wrote a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine with good news: Out of nearly 40,000 patients given powerful pain drugs, only four addictions were documented. Doctors had been wary of opioids, but reassured by the letter, which called addiction "... More »

Christie Finally Has a White House Gig

NJ governor will be leading a drug addiction task force, but not a 'permanent role'

(Newser) - After being unceremoniously dropped from President Trump's transition team, Gov. Chris Christie is dipping his toes into the administration as he takes the lead of a White House commission to combat drug addiction, the AP reports. On Wednesday, Christie and Trump will host an opioid and drug abuse listening... More »

Ohio Town Deals With OD Survivors by Charging Them

Washington Court House users given naloxone are charged with 'inducing panic'

(Newser) - An Ohio town is trying out a novel approach to discourage overdose victims who are revived from doing it again: slapping them with a charge of "inducing panic." The AP reports drug abusers in the town of Washington Court House risk the misdemeanor charge if they are revived... More »

ER Docs All Over the Map on Doling Out Opioids

Patients of 'high-intensity' prescribers might pay the price, says study

(Newser) - Scientists trying to better understand the nation's rising opioid addictions have uncovered an interesting wrinkle: A patient's risk of getting hooked might depend on which ER doctor they happen to get. In a New England Journal of Medicine study, researchers found that patients whose ER doctors are more... More »

Cluster of Amnesia Cases in Opioid Users Puzzles Doctors

They can't explain the phenomenon in Massachusetts

(Newser) - As if opioid addiction isn't bad enough on its own, something else is going on in eastern Massachusetts (and possibly beyond) that is worrying public health officials. Doctors have identified 14 opioid users who have suffered amnesia, and they can't explain why. While memory loss in and of... More »

Maker of OxyContin Sued by Drug-Addled City

Complaint filed by Everett, Wash., says Purdue Pharma valued profits over people

(Newser) - What does a city do when its citizens are wracked with opioid addiction? Sue the maker of one of the most well-known brands is the route Everett is taking, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Washington city of 100,000 north of Seattle filed a complaint Thursday against Purdue Pharma,... More »

The VA Pumped Vets With Opioids. Now There's a Bigger Problem

How ex-service members got hooked on painkillers, and how the VA is letting them down: 'WSJ'

(Newser) - Veterans who return from service not only have to deal with everyday re-entry issues (finding jobs, reacclimating to life with family and friends), but also with the injuries and PTSD they may have brought home with them. To cope with the physical and mental pain, many of them are prescribed... More »

Sad Reason Why Ex-Inmate's Freedom Lasted Just 103 Days

Dealing with mental illness, addiction in Mass. prisons and in real world stacks deck against certain prisoners

(Newser) - It can be tough for ex-inmates to stay out of trouble when they get out prison, but for those with drug problems or battling mental illness in Massachusetts, the transition is even more of a struggle, per a piece by the Boston Globe's Spotlight team. A Department of Correction... More »

Surgeon General: More People Use Opioids Than Tobacco

And other surprising news from surgeon general's first report on substance addiction

(Newser) - The latest (and first) surgeon general's report on substance addiction was released Thursday, and it offers up a surprising slew of factoids. Per NPR , Dr. Vivek Murthy says more people are hooked on prescription opioids than tobacco, 50% more people (20.8 million, per recent estimates) have substance abuse... More »

Selfie Shows Before and After of Heroin Addiction

Courtney, 24, is two years sober and hoping to inspire others to get clean

(Newser) - On Wednesday, a Reddit user named DisregardThisOrDont posted an incredibly powerful selfie, Stuff reports. The selfie—posted alongside a mugshot taken two years ago—is captioned: "Here is what 826 days sober looks like. Recovery is possible!" According to the Houston Chronicle , DisregardThisOrDont is a 24-year-old named Courtney.... More »

Addict Jailed for Sake of Unborn Baby

Alabama woman admitted to cops she was using heroin

(Newser) - In what police describe as "a sad case, no matter how you look at it," an Alabama judge has ordered a suspected drug addict to remain behind bars until she gives birth to her second child. Authorities say Alexandra Nicole Laird, 21, gave birth to a baby girl... More »

Heroin Being Cut With Drug That Can Kill an Elephant

2 counties in Indiana and Ohio had up to 60 ODs in a 2-day period this week

(Newser) - One hundred times more potent than the drug that played a role in killing Prince and 10,000 times stronger than morphine, carfentanil is the strongest opioid commercially available—an animal tranquilizer so lethal it can kill if absorbed through the skin and permanently take out a 7-ton elephant, per... More »

Citing Prince's Death, Chaka Khan Goes to Rehab

Says she's addicted to same drug that killed the icon

(Newser) - Chaka Khan and her sister have both entered a drug rehabilitation program to battle their addictions to prescription drugs, and Kahn says the death of her good friend Prince helped hasten her decision to get help. In a statement released to the AP on Sunday, the 63-year-old Grammy-winning singer said... More »

Ex-Addict: I Got Prescription Opioids Way Too Easily

Doctors knew history, kept pills coming

(Newser) - Seth Mnookin is recovering from a three-year addiction to heroin, which he kicked in 1997. So when he went to Massachusetts General Hospital to be treated for kidney stones that left him in severe pain, he made sure to tell every medical professional he encountered about his history with addiction.... More »

AMC Working on Miniseries About Journalist David Carr

With Bob Odenkirk of 'Better Call Saul' playing Carr

(Newser) - A new AMC miniseries will bring the story of the late New York Times writer David Carr onto the small screen, the AP reports. The network is teaming up with Sony Pictures Television to develop a six-episode miniseries on Carr, based on his 2008 memoir The Night of the Gun ... More »

Prince Lay Dead in Elevator for 6 Hours

He had also sought help for apparent opioid addiction

(Newser) - Prince was apparently battling opioid addiction when he died—and when he did die, he lay in an elevator for at least six hours before being found, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Sources close to the investigation say Prince had suffered an opioid overdose on April 15 and received treatment... More »

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