opioids

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'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 »

The 'Secondary Victims' of Adults' Opioid Addiction: Kids

More children, teens ending up in hospital from overdoses

(Newser) - Opioid poisonings and overdoses are sending increasing numbers of US children and teens to the hospital, according to a study showing a substantial rise in young patients needing critical care. The study, published Monday in Pediatrics, included accidental poisonings along with overdoses from intentional use, per the AP . Prescription painkillers... More »

OxyContin Maker Ends Industry-Changing Strategy

Purdue Pharma will no longer promote the painkiller to doctors

(Newser) - The medical website STAT sees it as the "end of an era"—the maker of OxyContin is going to stop promoting the opioid to doctors. As Bloomberg reports, Purdue Pharma is cutting its sales staff in half to 200 employees and will no longer send representatives to doctors'... More »

FDA Issues Strongest Warning Yet on Kratom

Substance is a dangerous opioid, agency says

(Newser) - Kratom is a deadly opioid, not a safe alternative to opioids or an effective treatment for withdrawal, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday in its strongest warning yet against the herbal supplement. The agency said new data shows that the increasingly popular substance has "opioid properties" and has... More »

In One Year, Town of 400 Was Shipped 2.2M Opioids

W.Va. numbers are 'outrageous,' say congressional investigators

(Newser) - Williamson, W.Va., is home to 2,900 people. That's one reason congressional investigators are flabbergasted by documents showing two local pharmacies received 20.8 million prescription painkillers from out-of-state drug companies over a decade, reports the Charleston Gazette-Mail . Ohio-based wholesaler Miami-Luken says it supplied 6.4 million hydrocodone... More »

24-Year-Old Trump Appointee Runs Into Resume Trouble

WaPo looks at inconsistencies on Taylor Weyeneth's resumes

(Newser) - Some 24-year-olds are wunderkinds. The Washington Post clearly doesn't think Taylor Weyeneth belongs in that category. Weyeneth was a relative unknown until the Post on Jan. 14 ran a piece looking at the "rising star at the Office of National Drug Control Policy"—and the paltry resume... More »

Stuck With Leftover Opioids? Walmart Has a Solution

Walmart to offer first-of-its-kind product to customers

(Newser) - Walmart is helping customers get rid of leftover opioids by giving them packets that turn the addictive painkillers into a useless gel. The retail giant announced Wednesday that it will provide the packets free with opioid prescriptions filled at its 4,700 US pharmacies. The small packets, made by DisposeRx... More »

Doc Prescribed Him Percocet. It Was All Downhill From There

Inside one former journalist's opioid experience

(Newser) - "It was a miracle I was still alive." So writes a former journalist in describing his battle with opioids—except those words aren't coming from his mouth. They're what a doctor told him in 2012 after reviewing his intake: a prescribed 180 Oxycodone pills a month,... More »

Man in Charge of US Mortality Stats Is 'Really Alarmed'

Life expectancy drops for second year in a row

(Newser) - Robert Anderson, mortality statistics chief at the National Center for Health Statistics says he's "not prone to dramatic statements"—but he thinks we should be "really alarmed" by the finding that Americans' life expectancy has gone down for the second year in a row. The average... More »

Prosecutors Scramble to Sell Seized Bitcoin

Utah suspect's cache has exploded in value

(Newser) - US attorneys in Utah prosecuting a multimillion-dollar opioid drug ring are moving quickly to sell seized bitcoin that has exploded in value to about $8.5 million since the alleged ringleader's arrest a year ago. The US Attorney's Office for Utah cites the digital currency's volatility in... More »

Foster System Was Shrinking. Then the Opioid Crisis Began

92K kids entered foster care system because of parental drug use in 2016

(Newser) - Across the US, soaring use of opioids has forced tens of thousands of children from their homes, creating a generation of kids abandoned by addicted parents, orphaned because of fatal overdoses, or torn from fractured families by authorities fearful of leaving them in drug-addled chaos. "This isn't a... More »

Study Finds Commonality in 61% of Opioid Deaths

Columbia University Medical Center researchers analyzed deaths between 2001 and 2007

(Newser) - As the staggering toll—in terms of bodies, emotions , money , and our life expectancy —of the opioid epidemic comes into sharper focus, the idea of those who are most at risk is crystallizing, too, thanks to research out of Columbia University Medical Center. What a press release calls the... More »

Cost of Opioid Epidemic Much Higher Than Earlier Estimates

The crisis cost $504B in 2015

(Newser) - President Donald Trump said Monday that the opioid epidemic is "ravaging so many American families and communities." It also appears to be more expensive than previously thought, according to a government analysis released Monday. The White House Council of Economic Advisers pegs the true cost of the crisis... More »

It's Being Used for Opioid Addiction, but FDA Has Warning

Use of kratom is 'extremely concerning'

(Newser) - The FDA is warning Americans to stay away from kratom, calling its use as an opioid replacement or to treat opioid withdrawals "extremely concerning" and citing 36 deaths connected to the substance, Reuters reports. According to the Verge , kratom is a plant grown in Southeast Asia and used there... More »

How Opioid Patients' Urine Became 'Liquid Gold'

Urine tests have gotten sophisticated, and some pain doctors have gotten rich

(Newser) - The article calls it "liquid gold," and that might be only a slight exaggeration. A lengthy piece by Fred Schulte and Elizabeth Lucas for the non-profit Kaiser Health News that was picked up by Bloomberg examines a side business that has sprung up alongside the opioid epidemic: pricey... More »

Father and Son Overdose at Brooklyn Birthday Party

A mix of heroin and fentanyl brings tragedy to a family gathering

(Newser) - Tragedy struck a Brooklyn family over the weekend when a father and son died of drug overdoses at a birthday party. Police say Joseph Andrade, 44, and his son Carlos, 22, told family members they were stepping outside for a cigarette when in actuality they were going to snort a... More »

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