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Trump on Opioids: 'We Cannot Allow This to Continue'

President declares public health emergency

(Newser) - In ringing terms, President Trump on Thursday declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency—a step that won't bring new dollars to fight a scourge that kills nearly 100 Americans a day but will expand access to medical services in rural areas, among other changes, per the... More »

Trump Strategy on Opioids May Give Ammo to Critics

Will be 'public health emergency,' instead of broader 'national emergency'

(Newser) - President Trump on Thursday declared the opioid crisis a "public health emergency" but stopped short of the designation of a "national emergency." (Read a recap of his speech here .) That distinction matters because it affects how much federal aid will be made available to states, and... More »

Iditarod IDs Musher in Doping Uproar

And its 4-time champ Dallas Seavey, who denies he gave dogs drugs, quits 2018 race in protest

(Newser) - Four-time Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey denied Monday that he administered banned drugs to his dogs in this year's race and has withdrawn from the 2018 race in protest of the allegation. "I have never given any banned substance to my dogs," Seavey said in a video posted... More »

Trump's Vow on Opioid Crisis Creates Whole New Crisis

Trump promises emergency declaration next week, but officials have nothing

(Newser) - "They are not ready for this," one public health advocate tells Politico . On Monday, President Trump said he would make an emergency declaration on the opioid crisis next week, promising "a very, very big statement" and "a very important step." Trump reportedly made the decision... More »

World's Most Famous Racing Dogs Busted for Doping

Several canine Iditarod competitors tested positive for pain reliever tramadol

(Newser) - For the first time in the history of the world's most famous sled dog race, several of the high-performance animals have tested positive for a prohibited drug—but race officials have refused to name the musher involved. Several dogs tested positive for the opioid pain reliever tramadol, the governing... More »

Trump's Drug Czar Pick Backs Out After Opioids Report

Rep. Tom Marino withdraws after being accused of weakening DEA's fight against opioids

(Newser) - A critical report accusing lawmakers of helping drugmakers flood the market with addictive opioids has claimed its first political victim: GOP Rep. Tom Marino will not be the nation's next drug czar, reports Politico . Marino "has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug... More »

Trump's Potential Drug Czar Under Fire Over Opioids Report

Investigation says Tom Marino, other lawmakers, defanged DEA on the drugs

(Newser) - A damning investigation by 60 Minutes and the Washington Post on the nation's opioid crisis might mean trouble for President Trump's nominee to be the nation's drug czar. The investigation shows how a group of congressional lawmakers, working with big drug distributors, weakened the DEA's ability... More »

Fentanyl Claims Top Spot for US Overdose Deaths

Fentanyl, other synthetic opioids killed more than 21K people last year

(Newser) - Fourteen people overdosed on heroin laced with fentanyl in a span of just four hours Wednesday in Camden, New Jersey, NBC Philadelphia reports. While none of Wednesday's overdoses in Camden were fatal, BuzzFeed —citing new data from the CDC—reports fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now the... More »

Major Insurer Takes Big Step on OxyContin

Cigna will stop covering most prescriptions

(Newser) - A big change for a huge insurance company: Starting Jan. 1, Cigna will stop covering most OxyContin prescriptions in its group plans. OxyContin, an opioid painkiller, is an extended-release version of oxycodone; extended-release versions contain a higher dose of the active ingredients, which can make them ripe for abuse as... More »

He Made Big Tobacco Cave. Now's He's Got a New Target

Attorney Mike Moore is going after companies that make and sell opioids

(Newser) - Mike Moore is renowned in legal circles as the attorney who brought Big Tobacco to its knees by orchestrating a 50-state, $246 billion settlement back in the 1990s. Now, the 65-year-old Moore has a new but similarly giant target: companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell opioids, reports Bloomberg Businessweek . Its... More »

Opioid Crisis Is Taking Men Out of the Labor Market

20% of the drop-off in men's participation is because of drugs

(Newser) - The percentage of American men participating in the labor force dropped 3 percentage points between 1999 and 2014, and one economist believes a considerable portion of that drop can be blamed on the opioid epidemic, Fortune reports. The drug crisis has hit certain areas of the country harder than others,... More »

Teen Was Driving 107mph When She Killed Sisters: Cops

Alia Sierra has been charged as adult

(Newser) - The opioid epidemic may have claimed two wholly innocent victims. Police say the 17-year-old who killed two sisters after the car she was driving crashed into the girls' Frankfort, Ind., home in July was high on opiates. RTV6 describes a harrowing lead-up to the crash, citing detectives who say Alia... More »

Funeral Director in Blog Post: 'F--- You, Opioids'

He says he's not prone to profanity, but he's overwhelmed by what he's seen

(Newser) - A New Jersey funeral director heartbroken and overwhelmed at the opioid deaths he's seen in his line of work minced no words in a blog post he published on the funeral home's website this week. "F**k you, Opioids," reads the headline of the post on the... More »

Trump: Opioid Crisis Is a National Emergency

'We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis'

(Newser) - President Trump has declared the opioid crisis a national emergency, though the official paperwork declaring it so is still to come. "We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis," he promised after the declaration... More »

Mom Raised $40K for Son's Cancer Care. He Didn't Have It

Monika Burgett is accused of having her 3-year-old's eyebrows, head shaved in the ruse

(Newser) - A woman has been accused of pretending to be a doctor and falsely claiming her preschool-age son had terminal cancer so he could receive unnecessary hospital care and opioids. A Hamilton County prosecutor told jurors on Tuesday at the trial of Monika Burgett that she convinced doctors at Cincinnati Children'... More »

Ohio Handing Out Money for High-Tech Solutions to Opioid Crisis

So far, 44 organizations have submitted project ideas

(Newser) - A call by Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich for scientific breakthroughs to help solve the opioid crisis is drawing interest from dozens of groups, with ideas including remote-controlled medication dispensers, monitoring devices for addicts, mobile apps, and pain-relieving massage gloves. The state has received project ideas from 44 hospitals, universities,... More »

Researcher Says Our Opioid Death Stats Are Way Off

There may be 24% more deaths than we think

(Newser) - The CDC statistic is a harsh one: Ninety-one Americans die from opioid overdoses—that number includes heroin and prescription opioids—every day. A University of Virginia researcher claims we're undercounting. A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine estimates that opioid- and heroin-related mortality rates were... 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 »

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 »

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