drug addiction

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Tiny Nation Has World's Worst Heroin Problem

Nearly 10% of Seychelles working population is addicted

(Newser) - Coral reefs, beautiful beaches ... and the world's worst heroin problem. In the Seychelles, nearly 10% of the working population is addicted to the drug, the highest per capita rate of heroin abuse around the globe, the BBC reports. Of the 94,000 people living in the Indian Ocean archipelago—... More »

Jamie Lee Curtis: I 'Freebased' With Dad Tony Curtis

Actress, 20 years sober, opens up for Variety's 'recovery issue'

(Newser) - Jamie Lee Curtis has been open about her struggle with addiction and her recovery journey; she's been sober 20 years. She gets even more open in a new interview with Variety for its "recovery issue," revealing that dad Tony Curtis, whose addiction struggles were also well-known, "... More »

He Was a Boeing Engineer. Then Came the Oxy Prescription

Anthony Hathaway ended up robbing banks to support his drug addiction

(Newser) - For a while, Anthony Hathaway looked like a success story: As a 20-year-old with only a high school diploma, he went to work as a technical designer for Boeing in Everett, Washington. By 30, he was an engineer in the galley systems group pulling in more than $100,000 a... More »

10 States With the Most Drug Abuse

The epidemic continues

(Newser) - A recent sliver of hope in the US opioid crisis emerged in the form of a substantial drop in prescription opioid use in 2018. But that doesn't mean the country's drug epidemic is anywhere near over. Drug abuse continues to run rampant, and WalletHub looked at the problem... More »

Police Chief Has a 'Problem' With Viral Obituary

Where was our outrage before? wonders Burlington's top cop

(Newser) - Madelyn Linsenmeir's obituary, giving a face to America's ongoing opioid crisis, resonated around the country . A police chief's rebuttal is now doing the same. "Please elect this man to replace Bernie Sanders, Vermont," a journalist tweeted Wednesday after Burlington police Chief Brandon del Pozo aired... More »

Guy Behind OxyContin Breaks the Irony Record

Richard Sackler is named as an inventor of new anti-opioid drug

(Newser) - Irony alert: A billionaire accused of worsening the opioid crisis just won a patent for a drug to treat opioid addiction, Stat News reports. Richard Sackler, whose family owns OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma, is one of six inventors behind a new medication that could help people get off drugs including opioids.... More »

Lovato Is Giving Us a Rare Glimpse of Realness

She's providing a realistic view of mental illness and addiction: Jean Hannah Edelstein

(Newser) - Demi Lovato's openness about her struggles is more than just celebrity fodder—it's a "gift to many people who have experienced similar illnesses," writes Jean Hannah Edelstein at the Guardian . The singer, hospitalized this week after an apparent overdose, has shared her list of diagnoses since... More »

The Knock at 3am to Report a Death Wasn't the Family's Last

The 'Tennessean' looks at the toll the opioid crisis has had on the Baltzes

(Newser) - Just before Christmas 2015, former 3 Doors Down bassist Robert "Todd" Harrell was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted in a fatal 2013 crash that occurred on Nashville's I-40. He was driving at 101mph when he clipped a pickup being driven by Paul Shoulders Jr.... More »

He Became a Billionaire, Dies on Way to Rehab at 54

Matthew Mellon bet big on cryptocurrencies, but battled an OxyContin addiction

(Newser) - Matthew Mellon, the banking heir whose cryptocurrency investment paid off big-time, has died in Cancun, Mexico. He was 54. A family rep issued the following statement to Page Six : "Mellon made his fortune in cryptocurrency, turning a $2 million investment into $1 billion. He is survived by his three... More »

Addicts on Dr. Phil Say They Were Given Booze, Drugs

STAT/'Boston Globe' probe reveals 'callous and inexcusable exploitation,' per one critic

(Newser) - Dr. Phil McGraw prides himself for pulling people out of addiction, but a new report from STAT and the Boston Globe alleges he may have put some at-risk guests right back into it. Ex-guests on McGraw's syndicated talk show, including a former winner of TV's Survivor, say as... More »

Philip Seymour Hoffman's Fate Was Sealed With One Question

'I've been thinking I want to try to have a drink again. What do you think?'

(Newser) - It's been nearly four years since Philip Seymour Hoffman's stunning fatal overdose , and longtime partner Mimi O'Donnell reflects on the loss in a poignant essay at Vogue . O'Donnell writes movingly of their friendship-turned-courtship and how Hoffman spoke openly of his struggles with drugs and alcohol back... More »

Demi Lovato's Drug Addiction Was Worse Than Anyone Knew

And more revelations from new documentary

(Newser) - The depth of Demi Lovato's drug addiction becomes clear with the release of Simply Complicated , the second documentary about the singer. The first documentary about her, 2012's Stay Strong, focused on her recovery after she went to rehab at 18 (for self-harming and an eating disorder, along with... 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 »

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 »

WVa's Residents Are Taking ODs Into Their Own Hands

Some neighbors are filled with contempt for addicts; others just want to help

(Newser) - Opioid addicts are using and collapsing in public in increasing numbers—their way of ensuring they won't OD and not be found until it's too late, Margaret Talbot explains in the New Yorker . "This is survival to them," she writes. "They're struggling with using... 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 »

Christie Finally Has a White House Gig

NJ governor will be leading a drug addiction task force, but not a 'permanent role'

(Newser) - After being unceremoniously dropped from President Trump's transition team, Gov. Chris Christie is dipping his toes into the administration as he takes the lead of a White House commission to combat drug addiction, the AP reports. On Wednesday, Christie and Trump will host an opioid and drug abuse listening... More »

Ohio Town Deals With OD Survivors by Charging Them

Washington Court House users given naloxone are charged with 'inducing panic'

(Newser) - An Ohio town is trying out a novel approach to discourage overdose victims who are revived from doing it again: slapping them with a charge of "inducing panic." The AP reports drug abusers in the town of Washington Court House risk the misdemeanor charge if they are revived... More »

ER Docs All Over the Map on Doling Out Opioids

Patients of 'high-intensity' prescribers might pay the price, says study

(Newser) - Scientists trying to better understand the nation's rising opioid addictions have uncovered an interesting wrinkle: A patient's risk of getting hooked might depend on which ER doctor they happen to get. In a New England Journal of Medicine study, researchers found that patients whose ER doctors are more... More »

Cluster of Amnesia Cases in Opioid Users Puzzles Doctors

They can't explain the phenomenon in Massachusetts

(Newser) - As if opioid addiction isn't bad enough on its own, something else is going on in eastern Massachusetts (and possibly beyond) that is worrying public health officials. Doctors have identified 14 opioid users who have suffered amnesia, and they can't explain why. While memory loss in and of... More »

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