opioids

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Guy's Joker 'Performance' Ends in Charge of Terrorist Threat

'I'm planning on killing a bunch of people,' Jeremy Garnier said on livestream

(Newser) - A man in a Joker costume threatened to kill people on a nearly hourlong livestream as he drove around a St. Louis suburb on Monday, according to University City police. "I'm going to start killing people until this reaches a thousand [viewers] and once it reaches a thousand,... More »

Congressional Candidate Speaks After Overdose

No shame for Chris Taylor, who suspends bid to seek treatment

(Newser) - A Republican vying for Congress in Arizona has suspended his bid after overdosing on heroin. "I recently relapsed after having so many solid years in sobriety," Chris Taylor, a Safford city councilman who completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan and has struggled with opioid addiction since high... More »

She Scored a Hit for a Friend. Then Came the Text

A lengthy look at overdose-homicide prosecutions

(Newser) - Jamie Maynard has been clean for three years, a feat she credits in part to having gone to prison, where she got off heroin. But in a lengthy piece for the New Yorker , Paige Williams makes the case that she should have never been behind bars. The Ohio woman was... More »

As Meth Makes a Comeback, Opioid Funds Redirected

It's already the most lethal drug west of the Mississippi

(Newser) - Alarmed by a deadly new twist in the nation's drug addiction crisis, the government will allow states to use federal money earmarked for the opioid epidemic to help growing numbers of people struggling with meth and cocaine. The little-noticed change is buried in a massive spending bill passed by... More »

Study of Auto Plant Closures Finds a Double Whammy

Researchers found an association between closure, increased opioid death rate

(Newser) - The closure of an auto plant may do more than just depress an area's economy. A study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine surfaces an association between such closures and a rise in opioid deaths. Specifically, in counties where assembly plants had shuttered five years prior, the opioid overdose... More »

State Sues Walgreens, 3 Other Firms Under Drug Dealer Law

'They knowingly and deliberately distributed drugs in our state without controls'

(Newser) - Michigan on Tuesday sued four companies over the deadly painkiller epidemic, becoming what state Attorney General Dana Nessel says is the first state to sue major opioid distributors under a liability law that is typically used to go after drug dealers. The lawsuit was filed in Wayne County and names... More »

Purdue Affiliate Accused of Selling 'Deeply Cynical' Drug

Or is Mundipharma selling a much-needed cure?

(Newser) - As Purdue Pharma buckles under a mountain of litigation and public protest in the United States, its foreign affiliate, Mundipharma, has expanded abroad, using some of the same tactics to sell the addictive opioids that made its owners, the Sackler family, among the richest in the world. Mundipharma is... More »

9 Sentenced in China After Tip From US About 'Diana'

All were fentanyl traffickers

(Newser) - A Chinese court sentenced nine fentanyl traffickers Thursday in a case that was a culmination of a rare collaboration between Chinese and US law enforcement to crack down on global networks that manufacture and distribute lethal synthetic opioids. Liu Yong was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve, while Jiang... More »

A Teen's 2015 OD Death Had Link to Something Much Bigger

Alex W. Palmer goes deep into a global fentanyl ring

(Newser) - Prepare to feel pretty worn out after reading Alex W. Palmer's lengthy dive into a global fentanyl ring for the New York Times . The piece is staggering in its scope—in terms of distance (it bounces between Hong Kong, North Dakota, and Florida, among other locales), timeline, and complexity.... More »

Lawsuit: Drug Firms Acted Like a Cartel. Now, a $260M Deal

Ohio's Summit, Cuyahoga counties to be paid by 4 major companies for their role in opioid epidemic

(Newser) - Two counties in Ohio could have pulled in $8 billion if they'd won their legal battle in court against Big Pharma. Instead, in an 11th-hour deal, they've settled for $260 million against three major distributors and a manufacturer for their role in the opioid epidemic, the Wall Street ... More »

Judge Makes Big Decimal Point Error in Opioid Ruling

Oklahoma's Thad Balkman was off by $107M or so

(Newser) - A judge in Oklahoma has admitted a major calculating error in the $572 million penalty applied to pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson for its role in the state's opioid crisis. "That's the last time I use that calculator," Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman said Tuesday,... More »

Sesame Street Addresses Issue of Parental Addiction

Elmo's new friend has a mother with a problem

(Newser) - Sesame Street is taking a new step to try to help kids navigate life in America—it's tackling the opioid crisis. Sesame Workshop is exploring the backstory of Karli, a bright green, yellow-haired friend of Elmo's whose mother is battling addiction. The initiative is part of the Sesame... More »

Mom of 'Emo Rapper' Sues Over His Death

Lil Peep's mother blames his managers for his overdose

(Newser) - Lil Peep died of a drug overdose at age 21 , and nearly two years after the death of the "emo rapper" on a tour bus, his mother is suing. Liza Womack says in her suit that her son was "stressed, overwhelmed, burnt out, exhausted and physically unwell" before... More »

Victims Weren't in the Room When Opioid Maker Settled

But now 4 of them will play a role in Purdue Pharma's bankruptcy

(Newser) - Victims of opioid addiction weren't in the room when OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma persuaded half the state attorneys general to settle claims over the company's role in the nationwide overdose epidemic, the AP reports. Now that Purdue is in federal bankruptcy court, four people whose lives were touched... More »

Doctor Who Gave Every Patient Opioids Sentenced to 40 Years

He 'hid behind his doctor's coat as a large-scale drug dealer'

(Newser) - A Virginia doctor who never met a patient he didn't prescribe opioids to has been sentenced to 40 years in prison. Prosecutors say Dr. Joel Smithers, 36, prescribed more than 500,000 doses of opioids in less than two years at his practice in Martinsville, population 13,000, before... More »

Johnson & Johnson Settles With 2 Counties Over Opioids

More than $20M to go to Ohio's Cuyahoga and Summit counties

(Newser) - Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday announced it had reached an agreement worth more than $20 million with two Ohio counties, becoming the latest company to settle a lawsuit to get out of the first federal trial over the nation's opioids crisis. The deal with Cuyahoga and Summit counties comes... More »

Purdue Pharma Files for Bankruptcy

But OxyContin maker's legal battles are far from over

(Newser) - Purdue Pharma, the company that made billions selling the prescription painkiller OxyContin, has filed for bankruptcy in White Plains, NY, days after reaching a tentative settlement with many of the state and local governments suing it over the toll of opioids. The filing was anticipated before and after the tentative... More »

A New Role Awaits Men in Coal Country

In one Kentucky county, it's women who bring home the bacon

(Newser) - Welcome to Letcher County in Kentucky, where coal's decline is changing time-honored gender roles. As men struggle to find work, women are entering a field in need of people—health care—and bringing home relatively small but still invaluable paychecks, the New York Times reports. "The mines have... More »

Drug Companies Target Federal Judge

They say Judge Dan Polster is biased

(Newser) - Attorneys for eight drug distributors, pharmacies, and retailers facing trial next month for their roles in the opioid crisis want to disqualify the federal judge overseeing their cases, saying he has shown bias in his effort to obtain a multibillion-dollar global settlement, the AP reports. According to a motion filed... More »

Tentative Deal Reached in Purdue Pharma Lawsuits

OxyContin maker reaches tentative settlement with some of the states, governments suing

(Newser) - A tentative settlement announced Wednesday over the role Purdue Pharma played in the nation's opioid addiction crisis falls short of the far-reaching national settlement the OxyContin maker had been seeking for months, with litigation sure to continue against the company and the family that owns it. The agreement with... More »

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