opioid addiction

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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 »

'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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Mom Now Grateful for Viral Heroin Overdose Photo

Erika Hurt celebrated a year of sobriety last Sunday

(Newser) - When police found 25-year-old Erika Hurt passed out in her car in the parking lot of an Indiana Dollar General Store, needle in her hand, with her 10-month-old son in the backseat, they snapped a photo that went viral as the face of the opioid crisis in America. One year... 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 »

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 »

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 »

Mother Clings to Dying Daughter After Overdose

'She was my only daughter, my best friend'

(Newser) - Seven years of addiction, five overdoses, several detoxes, and giving up her son to adoptive parents didn't prove to be enough to help 22-year-old Elaina Towery kick her heroin habit, reports the New York Daily News . Towery, of Howell, Mich., was found slumped over in a Burger King bathroom... 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 »

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 »

Drug Evidence Goes Missing, Lawyer Blames Jurors

What happened to 71 oxycodone pills?

(Newser) - An Ohio defense lawyer is accusing at least one juror of stealing 71 oxycodone pills during a drug trial, the AP reports. John David Moore Jr. says jurors found his client guilty and then rushed out of the courthouse before anyone noticed the 71 opioid pills were missing. He says... More »

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