opioids

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Pitcher Got Lethal Fentanyl From Team Employee: Charges

Angels' Tyler Skaggs died in his hotel room last year

(Newser) - A former Los Angeles Angels employee has been charged with providing fentanyl to a player who died in his hotel room after taking it last year. Tyler Skaggs, 27, a pitcher, was found dead on a team road trip to Texas. A criminal complaint that includes a conspiracy charge says... More »

Melissa Etheridge on Son's Death: 'You Can't Die and Give Up'

Singer talks to 'Rolling Stone' about 21-year-old Beckett Cypher succumbing to opioid addiction

(Newser) - Melissa Etheridge continues to mourn the loss of her 21-year-son, Beckett Cypher, who died in May due to an opioid addiction, and in a new Rolling Stone video interview, the 59-year-old singer reveals it's still "a struggle." "You want to help your child," she tells... More »

Secret US Safe Injection Site Saved Dozens of Lives

Researcher say clandestine site reversed 33 overdoses

(Newser) - For years, addicts have been injecting themselves with drugs at a secret location in an undisclosed US city. Researchers say the clandestine safe injection site has saved dozens of lives and has probably prevented many HIV and hepatitis C infections. The site, based on legal ones in Europe and Canada,... More »

Drug Raids Reveal 'Unprecedented' Fentanyl Production

Asian syndicates might be treating pandemic as a 'business opportunity'

(Newser) - Raids on clandestine labs in Myanmar resulted in drug seizures that were "truly off the charts," authorities say. AFP reports that the raids on dozens of labs in remote Shan state between February and April unearthed hundreds of pounds of heroin and raw opium, along with the largest... More »

Mom of The Flash Actor: This Is How He Died

Marlyse Williams speaks out about Logan's death

(Newser) - Logan Williams' death remains tragic, but at least the cause is known—and might help others avoid the same fate. His grieving mother, Marlyse, has stepped into the media spotlight to explain how The Flash star died suddenly on April 2 at age 16. "His death is not going... More »

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 »

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