opioids

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OxyContin Exec Boasted of 'Blizzard of Prescriptions'

Sackler accused of misleading public about dangers of addiction

(Newser) - Some of the seeds of today's opioid crisis were sown at the 1995 launch party of OxyContin, where Purdue Pharma exec Richard Sackler promised "a blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition," according to a memo filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. She accuses Sackler... More »

Ominous New Stat on Opioid Deaths Released

Americans have greater chance of dying of an overdose than in a car crash

(Newser) - It's no secret that opioid deaths are rising in the US, but a new statistic brings home the danger. For the first time, Americans now have a greater chance of dying from an accidental opioid overdose than from a motor vehicle crash, reports USA Today . The stat comes from... More »

1 Dead, 12 Hospitalized After Calif. 'Mass Overdose'

Police believe fentanyl is to blame

(Newser) - The powerful opioid fentanyl is believed to have caused what police in Chico, Calif., are calling a "mass casualty incident" Saturday morning. Authorities say one person died and another 12 were hospitalized after a mass overdose. Chico Fire Department Chief Steve Standridge says every ambulance in the city was... More »

Even 'Dark Web' Dealers Refuse to Sell This Drug

Some sellers say fentanyl is just too dangerous

(Newser) - Fentanyl suppliers on the so-called "dark web" are delisting the drug because it's just too dangerous—and tends to attract police attention, the Guardian reports. If true, the move places fentanyl alongside explosives and certain firearms that are too risky for some purveyors to sell. "There are... More »

Super-Potent Opioid Wins FDA Approval

Dsuvia will be tightly controlled, the FDA promises

(Newser) - It's called Dsuvia, and the potency of this opioid is hard to fathom: It's up to 1,000 times stronger than morphine and up to 10 times stronger than fentanyl, reports USA Today . Despite the worries of critics that it will add to the nation's opioid problem,... More »

Record-Breaking Drug OD Deaths in US Last Year

200 people died per day in US in 2017, per the DEA

(Newser) - Drug overdose deaths hit the highest level ever recorded in the US last year, with an estimated 200 people dying per day, according to a report by the DEA. Most of that was the result of a record number of opioid-related deaths. Preliminary figures show more than 72,000 people... More »

Police Chief Has a 'Problem' With Viral Obituary

Where was our outrage before? wonders Burlington's top cop

(Newser) - Madelyn Linsenmeir's obituary, giving a face to America's ongoing opioid crisis, resonated around the country . A police chief's rebuttal is now doing the same. "Please elect this man to replace Bernie Sanders, Vermont," a journalist tweeted Wednesday after Burlington police Chief Brandon del Pozo aired... More »

Not 'Just a Junkie': a Heartbreaking Obit for Young Mom

Madelyn Linsenmeir first tried OxyContin at a high school party

(Newser) - "To some, Maddie was just a junkie," but to the family and friends grieving the 30-year-old's death, Madelyn Ellen Linsenmeir was "adored as a daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, and mother," according to a moving obituary that has caught the attention of the nation and... More »

Officer Allegedly Sold Opioids Out of His Squad Car

Officials say he did it while in uniform

(Newser) - Authorities say a police officer from a small town in the Florida Panhandle faces charges he sold opioids out of his squad car while in uniform. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Saturday agents arrested Officer Dwayne White at the Bonifay Police Department. The FDLE says it began an... More »

Addict Allegedly Stole Dying Daughter's Opioids

Carol Ballweg confessed after tip from hospice staff: cops

(Newser) - Police in Missouri say a dying woman didn't get the oxycodone and fentanyl she was prescribed because her mother stole the drugs to feed her opioid addiction. Carol Ballweg—charged with abusing a vulnerable person and stealing a controlled substance—allegedly admitted to stealing painkillers from her 20-year-old daughter,... More »

Guy Behind OxyContin Breaks the Irony Record

Richard Sackler is named as an inventor of new anti-opioid drug

(Newser) - Irony alert: A billionaire accused of worsening the opioid crisis just won a patent for a drug to treat opioid addiction, Stat News reports. Richard Sackler, whose family owns OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma, is one of six inventors behind a new medication that could help people get off drugs including opioids.... More »

The Knock at 3am to Report a Death Wasn't the Family's Last

The 'Tennessean' looks at the toll the opioid crisis has had on the Baltzes

(Newser) - Just before Christmas 2015, former 3 Doors Down bassist Robert "Todd" Harrell was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted in a fatal 2013 crash that occurred on Nashville's I-40. He was driving at 101mph when he clipped a pickup being driven by Paul Shoulders Jr.... More »

House Takes Aim at US Opioid Addiction

New legislation encourages states to expand treatment through Medicaid

(Newser) - The House has overwhelmingly approved legislation designed to give health-care providers more tools to stem an opioid crisis that is killing more than 115 people in the United States daily, the AP reports. The legislation passed Friday by a vote of 396-14. It incorporates dozens of opioid-related bills that lawmakers... More »

Artist Makes a Point Outside Drugmaker's Headquarters

Domenic Esposito tries to shame OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma with giant spoon

(Newser) - An 800-pound, nearly 11-foot-long steel sculpture of a bent and burned drug spoon was placed Friday in front of the Connecticut headquarters of drugmaker Purdue Pharma as part of an art protest against the opioid crisis. Artist Domenic Esposito and art gallery owner Fernando Alvarez placed the sculpture at the... More »

OxyContin Maker Kept a Dark Secret: Confidential Report

Execs knew early that patients were abusing drug, says New York Times

(Newser) - The company behind OxyContin may have a little secret—that it knew early on about people abusing its powerful painkilling drug and said nothing, the New York Times reports. Purdue Pharma executives received reports of "significant" abuse soon after Oxycontin's 1996 release, including people stealing and snorting the... More »

'Lifesaving' Item the Surgeon General Wants Us to Carry

Jerome Adams wants more Americans to keep naloxone on hand to prevent fatal overdoses

(Newser) - The US' chief doctor wants more Americans to carry the overdose antidote naloxone to help combat the nation's opioid crisis and save lives. US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams was to speak about the new public health advisory Thursday at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in... More »

There's a War on Opioids. They Are Its Collateral Damage

How sufferers of chronic pain became 'pain refugees'

(Newser) - After years of having their condition misunderstood, sufferers of chronic pain now find themselves in the position of being, as one patient puts it, collateral in the country's war on drugs. Harper's takes a long look at self-described "pain refugees," who need opioids to do everything... More »

White House: Death Penalty Will Be Part of Opioid Response

But trafficking in fentanyl won't be a capital crime

(Newser) - The White House has rolled out the "more nuanced" response to the opioid crisis it promised after President Trump talked about executing drug dealers earlier this month. The revised plan White House officials discussed Sunday still involves the death penalty, but officials say they don't plan to make... More »

Tylenol, Advil Work Just as Well as Opioids

Study finds they're not much better than over-the-counter meds for pain relief

(Newser) - Even after overdose and addiction risks became known, opioid prescriptions continued on the belief that the drugs were more effective at relieving pain than other medications. New research suggests that may not be the case. In a study in JAMA , scientists say opioids appear to be no better at treating... More »

CDC Head on Opioid Report: 'This Is a Wake-Up Call'

ER overdoses up 30% across the US

(Newser) - America's opioid epidemic is getting worse, not better, according to an alarming new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Tuesday report shows opioid overdoses that led to emergency room visits across the country jumped 30% from July 2016 to September 2017. In the Midwest, overdoses... More »

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