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'Deeply Concerning': 7 Die of ODs in 1 Day in Cleveland Area

Officials aren't sure what drug is to blame

(Newser) - Authorities are trying to discover the types of drugs involved in a spate of overdoses that killed seven people in the Cleveland area Sunday in the latest outbreak of drug overdoses in Ohio. Officials suspect they were either heroin or fentanyl, the AP reports. "This cluster of deaths is... More »

In 'Heartbreaking' Video, Toddler Tries to Wake Up ODed Mom

The 36-year-old woman is being charged with child endangerment

(Newser) - Instead of helping when a 36-year-old woman collapsed from an apparent overdose, leaving her 2-year-old daughter crying on the floor of a Family Dollar, a bystander whipped out their cellphone and started filming, WILX reports. And while police wish the bystander would have helped instead, they will be using the... 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 »

Canada Approves Prescription Heroin

It's given to users when other treatments fail

(Newser) - Canadian doctors dealing with patients who have proved unable to stop taking heroin can now go ahead and prescribe them heroin. Justin Trudeau's government has reinstated a policy that allows doctors to prescribe diacetylmorphine—pharmaceutical-grade heroin—to severely addicted patients if other methods of treatment fail, ABC News reports.... More »

New Home for Boy in SUV With Allegedly ODing Grandma

Cops say grandma, friend used heroin then drove with 4-year-old in car

(Newser) - Authorities have found a new home for a 4-year-old boy photographed in the backseat of an SUV while his grandma and her friend were apparently overdosing on heroin in the front seats, NBC News reports. According to USA Today , the photo was taken Sept. 7 by an Ohio police officer... 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 Epidemic Checks Into America's Libraries

Quiet public spaces prove attractive for addicts, see spike in overdoses

(Newser) - The same qualities that make libraries ideal for studying and reading—unfettered public access, quiet corners and nooks, minimal interaction with other people—also make them appealing places to shoot up heroin, reports the AP in a look at the trend. In Norfolk, Va., a 47-year-old man died after a... More »

Elephant Tranquilizer Confirmed in Fatal Overdoses

'A tiny bit can kill a person,' says expert

(Newser) - A coroner in Ohio has confirmed the country's first fatal drug overdoses caused by carfentanil —an animal tranquilizer so powerful that a dose smaller than a snowflake can kill a human. The cases come from Hamilton County, an area including Cincinnati, which has recorded more than 200 overdoses... 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 »

City Struggles to Respond to 27 Overdoses in Just 5 Hours

'It was basically like a mass casualty event'

(Newser) - Twenty-seven people overdosed in less than five hours Monday in one West Virginia city, USA Today reports. "It was basically like a mass casualty event," Cabell County EMS director Gordon Merry tells CNN . The first reported overdose in Huntington came in around 3:30pm, and ambulances and other... More »

Stealthily Driving the Heroin Epidemic: Legal Marijuana

Don Winslow makes the case in 'Esquire'

(Newser) - Much has been written about America's heroin problem, but a new piece in Esquire offers what might be the most provocative explanation yet: "Okay, I'm going to say it," writes Don Winslow. "The heroin epidemic was caused by the legalization of marijuana." When states... More »

A Shot Could Save This Heroin Addict. Can She Stay Clean to Get It?

Washington Post looks at the addiction epidemic through one woman's eyes

(Newser) - It's not hard to find stories about America's heroin problem, but the Washington Post provides a riveting look through the plight of a 31-year-old Michigan woman named Amanda Wendler. She's been an addict for 11 years and thus things are dire—the average active user is dead... More »

Judge Orders Heroin Dealers to Pay for Antidotes

But they'll serve years in prison first

(Newser) - Fatal drug overdoses have jumped about 40% in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area in recent years, a trend one judge hopes an unusual punishment will help reverse. In two cases this week, Judge Anthony Mariani ordered drug dealers to pay $50 to local EMS for each brick of heroin they... More »

Inmates Are Dying of Heroin Withdrawal in Jail

Deaths that advocates say are preventable

(Newser) - In the days following her 18-year-old daughter's first arrest on heroin charges, Stephanie Moyer took solace in thinking she would be safe in jail until she got into a treatment program. But Victoria "Tori" Herr sounded disoriented on a call home three days later. She feared she was... 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 »

When Heroin Forces You to Raise Your Grandchild

The 'New York Times' talks to grandmothers who are doing it

(Newser) - Cindi Colburn is 51 years old, but her social circle is full of twentysomethings, and not exactly by choice: They're the parents of other 5-year-olds, and Colburn is raising one herself—Maleigha, her granddaughter, the child of a mother addicted to heroin. Colburn serves as the lead character among... More »

Puppy Treated for Drug Addiction Tested Positive for Heroin, Meth

'This strikes me as pretty horrible'

(Newser) - A puppy who was found to be under the influence of meth and heroin had to undergo drug addiction treatment, CNN reports. California police served an arrest warrant on 40-year-old Joshua West at a motel in March. Inside the motel, they found drugs, used needles, and a terrier mix named... More »

Cops: Women Hid $3M of Heroin, Opium in Tea Leaves

They were arrested at O'Hare International Airport

(Newser) - Three women were allegedly found with more than $3 million worth of drugs hidden in bags of tea leaves Tuesday afternoon at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, the Chicago Sun Times reports. Authorities say nearly 70 pounds of opium and heroin were divided up into 470 tiny packets in... More »

1 in 11 Organ Donors Died of Drug Overdose Last Year

More than 20 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant

(Newser) - As the number of Americans dying of drug overdoses continues to rise—thanks in large part to an opioid epidemic—so too has the number of organ donors. In fact, the percentage of donors who died of overdoses has nearly tripled since 2006, according to data gathered by the United... More »

Mom Who Found Daughter Dead Writes Devastatingly Honest Obituary

Kelsey Endicott, 23, died of accidental overdose

(Newser) - Kathleen Errico is the latest devastated family member to take part in a heartbreaking trend: being brutally honest about a person's untimely death. Errico found her 23-year-old daughter dead in her bed, TV still on, at 3:45am on April 2. Kelsey Endicott, who leaves behind a 2-year-old son,... More »

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