opioids

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Boy May Have Died After Contacting Fentanyl at Pool

Officials say 10-year-old is among youngest victims of opioid crisis

(Newser) - Prosecutors in Florida believe a 10-year-old boy who died with the painkiller fentanyl in his system is among the state's youngest victims of the opioid crisis, the AP reports. Preliminary toxicology tests show Alton Banks had fentanyl in his system when he collapsed and died at his home on... More »

412—Including 56 Doctors— Charged in Opioid Fraud Cases

AG says it's 'largest health care fraud takedown operation in American history'

(Newser) - A rehab facility in Florida allegedly performed $58 million in false tests and treatments on opioid addicts it lured with strip club visits, the AP reports. Meanwhile, authorities say a doctor in Houston sold opioid prescriptions for cash, according to NBC News . And six doctors in Michigan conspired to prescribe... More »

Doctor Accused in 7 Deaths

Authorities say he wrote unnecessary prescriptions for powerful drugs

(Newser) - A Texas doctor wrote unnecessary prescriptions for powerful drugs that contributed to the overdose deaths of at least seven people over a four-year period, according to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday. Howard Diamond, 56, was arrested Tuesday on charges that include conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and health care fraud,... 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 »

Trump Surgeon General Pick Fought Indiana HIV Outbreak

Jerome Adams oversaw needle exchange program

(Newser) - President Trump nominated Indiana's health commissioner to serve as the next US surgeon general on Thursday, selecting an anesthesiologist who promoted needle exchange programs while serving under Vice President Mike Pence. The White House said Trump nominated Dr. Jerome Adams to serve as the nation's chief doctor. Adams... More »

She Overdosed While Pregnant, Now Faces Assault Charge

Doctors had to deliver baby prematurely

(Newser) - In a case that police say lays bare the disturbing extent of the opioid crisis, a woman in Pennsylvania faces charges of assaulting her baby by overdosing on heroin while seven months pregnant. The baby was delivered by emergency C-section Saturday after 30-year-old Kasey Dischman was found unresponsive in the... More »

One New Stat Shows Extent of Opioid Problem

Opioid-related ER visits nearly doubled in 10 years

(Newser) - The severity of America's opioid epidemic was captured in a dire government report published Tuesday. According to the report, released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality , the rate of opioid-related emergency room visits nearly doubled between 2005 and 2014, increasing a whopping 99%. The report also found... More »

Accused of Stealing Victim's Ring, He Was Once a Hero

George Tschaggeny, arrested in Portland, had been honored as Good Samaritan

(Newser) - Another cautionary tale in the midst of America's battle against opioids : that of George Elwood Tschaggeny. The military veteran helped tackle a bank robber armed with a knife in 2010 and was awarded a civilian medal, and it wasn't Tschaggeny's first turn as a Good Samaritan. More... More »

This One Stat Shows Severity of Opioid Crisis

Overdoses are leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50

(Newser) - Just how bad is the opioid crisis in the US? So bad that drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for people under 50, the New York Times reports. State and county death records reveal an estimated 62,500 people died from drug overdoses last year, 19% more... More »

FDA Takes Unprecedented Step to Fight Opioid Crisis

FDA asks pharma company to take opioid painkiller off the market

(Newser) - The FDA is asking an Irish pharmaceutical company to take one of its pain medications off the market because of its contributions to America's opioid epidemic, USA Today reports. The FDA says it's the first time it's ever asked a company to withdraw an opioid pain medication... 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 »

Ohio Sues 5 Drugmakers, Says They Caused Deadly Mess

'This lawsuit is about justice, it's about fairness'

(Newser) - The Ohio attorney general sued five drugmakers on Wednesday, accusing the companies of perpetrating the state's addictions epidemic by intentionally misleading patients about the dangers of painkillers and promoting benefits of the drugs not backed by science. Attorney General Mike DeWine said the companies created a deadly mess in... More »

Cop Responding to Car Crash ODs on Mystery Drug at Scene

It's the 2nd such incident in recent weeks

(Newser) - It's only been a couple of weeks since a police officer in Ohio overdosed on fentanyl when he instinctively wiped a bit of the powder away with his bare hand while arresting two men suspected of a drug deal. Now, an officer in Pennsylvania was saved by two doses... More »

Opioid Theft Still Rampant at VA Centers: Report

New AP investigation shows that rate more than double private sector despite crackdown

(Newser) - Feds have launched dozens of new criminal investigations into possible opioid and other drug theft by workers at Veterans Affairs hospitals, a sign the problem isn't going away despite new efforts. Data obtained by the AP show 36 cases opened by the VA inspector general's office from Oct.... More »

2 Counselors Fatally OD at Facility for Recovering Addicts

They were found in their bedrooms at Pa. lodge

(Newser) - "If anybody is wondering how bad the opioid epidemic has become, this case is a frightening example," said Chester County DA Tom Hogan after two drug counselors fatally overdosed at a Pennsylvania facility for recovering addicts. Residents at the Freedom Ridge Recovery Lodge found the counselors, who lived... More »

Shady Treatment Centers Help Fuel Drug Addiction

Alison Flory was living in a so-called 'sober living' house until her fatal OD

(Newser) - The US is in the midst of a well-documented opioid epidemic, but less well-known is how some people are making money off it through shady treatment centers that bilk insurance companies and do little to help their actual clients. In a feature in the Christian Science Monitor , Jennifer Flory describes... More »

Mom Shares Pic of Dying Son as a Plea

A Canadian woman says her son who overdosed on fentanyl was not an addict

(Newser) - One mother in Canada is taking the heartbreak of losing her son to a fentanyl overdose and turning it into a poignant PSA on the dangers of the synthetic opioid. In a Facebook post, Sherri Kent shared a photo of her holding her dying 22-year-old son, Michael Kent, in his... More »

Cherokees Sue: CVS, Walmart 'Flooded' Them With Opioids

Cherokee Nation files complaint against 6 companies in tribal court over Okla. 'epidemic'

(Newser) - Native American communities experience some of the highest substance-abuse rates in the US: Babies are born addicted to prescription drugs due to exposure in utero, while Native American high school students take OxyContin at much higher rates than other teens, per NPR . Now the Cherokee Nation is fighting back in... More »

The 23-Year-Old Lost His Memory. Then Came the MRI

He's one of 14 patients to suffer from the newly named CHIAS in Massachusetts

(Newser) - Since 2012 , doctors in Massachusetts have observed a most unusual kind of patient just 14 times—or, 14 times that we know about. It all started with Max Meehan, who was taken to the hospital after his behavior freaked out his family: his memory had suddenly vanished. "The kid... More »

A Year Later, Big Questions Remain on Prince's Death

'New York Times' takes a look as anniversary nears

(Newser) - April 21 will mark one year since Prince's death at age 57, and the New York Times takes a look at the mysteries that still linger. The biggest one: Where did Prince get the fentanyl that killed him? Fentanyl, an opioid that is cheaper to produce than heroin but... More »

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