opioids

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Trump Opens Up About Brother Who Died

He tells 'Washington Post' he regrets pressuring brother Fred, who died at 42 as an alcoholic

(Newser) - Fred Trump Jr., Donald Trump's older brother, died at age 42—and the president of the United States has some regrets about the way he treated him while he was still alive. As the Washington Post explains, Trump has been using the story of Fred, who was an alcoholic,... More »

Rare Blood Infections Traced to Nurse's Alleged Opioid Theft

Kelsey Mulvey accused of swapping cancer patients' medication with tap water

(Newser) - A nurse in New York allegedly stole injectable opioids for her own use, then refilled hospital syringes with tap water in a move that caused rare infections in cancer patients, according to a new report. The report published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine notes six cancer patients... More »

Pence's Trip to New Hampshire Axed Over Alleged Drug Dealer

The VP would have encountered Jeff Hatch, Politico explains

(Newser) - There were nothing but question marks after Mike Pence suddenly canceled a planned appearance in New Hampshire on July 2 just before Air Force Two was set to depart. His office referenced an unspecified security concern, reports the Washington Post . President Trump offered something more intriguing: "You'll know... More »

Opioid Distributor Hit With Federal Charges

Former Miami-Luken execs could get 20 years

(Newser) - Opioid distributors are up on charges—again. Prosecutors indicted an Ohio-based drug distributor and two former executives Wednesday for allegedly conspiring to shovel millions of painkillers into Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio, the Washington Post reports. The distributor, Miami-Luken, allegedly brushed aside "obvious signs" of drugs entering the black... More »

Louvre Covers Sackler Family Name With Tape

It's first major institution to remove the name

(Newser) - France's Louvre Museum in Paris has become the first major institution to remove the Sackler family name after protests erupted against the family that is blamed for the deadly opioid crisis in the US. At the Louvre's Oriental Antiquities gallery, an AP photographer late Wednesday saw tape covering... More »

Cops: Doctor Prescribed Too Much Fentanyl, Killed 25

William Husel has been charged in the 25 deaths

(Newser) - Authorities say an Ohio doctor is responsible for the deaths of 25 patients for whom he prescribed excessive doses of the opioid painkiller fentanyl. William Husel has been charged in all those deaths following a six-month investigation, reports NBC News , which calls the deaths "a stunning case of medical... More »

Landmark Opioid Trial Hinges on a Legal Term

What is a 'public nuisance'?

(Newser) - A landmark trial got underway Tuesday in Oklahoma—the first big test of whether a state can hold drug manufacturers responsible for the opioid crisis, reports the Wall Street Journal . In opening arguments, Attorney General Mike Hunter said these painkillers have led to the "worst manmade public health crisis"... More »

Opioid Crisis Sees Ray of Hope

Use of prescription opioids actually fell in 2018

(Newser) - For those grieving the opioid crisis, a sliver of hope: America's use of prescription opioids fell more than ever last year amid a government crackdown on drugmakers and pharmacists, CNBC reports. Overall use dropped 17% in 2018, the biggest decline on record, according to the health research firm IQVIA... More »

A Big First in the Opioid Crisis

Pharmaceutical distributor is facing federal criminal charges

(Newser) - Rochester Drug Cooperative was charged on Tuesday in federal court—marking the first time a pharmaceutical distributor has been charged for its alleged role in worsening the nation's opioid crisis, the New York Times reports. RDC and two of its former executives are accused of supplying pharmacies with "... More »

Pentagon, DHS Thinking of Naming New WMD

'Because of its strength, it's like nothing else that we've seen'

(Newser) - Fentanyl is already killing a staggering number of Americans—30,000 in 2017 alone, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse—and authorities say it would be "disturbingly easy" to use the synthetic opioid in a terrorist attack. Pentagon and Homeland Security officials are considering designating the drug... More »

31 Arrested Doctors Called 'White-Coated Drug Dealers'

They've been charged for their roles in illegally prescribing, distributing pills

(Newser) - Federal authorities said Wednesday they have charged 60 people, including 31 doctors, for their roles in illegally prescribing and distributing millions of pills containing opioids and other dangerous drugs. US Attorney Benjamin Glassman of Cincinnati described the action as the biggest known takedown yet of drug prescribers. Robert Duncan, US... More »

For OxyContin Maker: $270M Settlement, Potential Bankruptcy

Purdue Pharma settles suit with Oklahoma for $270M

(Newser) - The maker of OxyContin has agreed to pay $270 million to resolve claims in Oklahoma that it helped fuel the opioid crisis and thereby contributed to thousands of overdose deaths, multiple news outlets are reporting. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, who sued 13 opioid manufacturers for promoting opioids as safe... More »

'Gun-Toting' Doctor Gets Life After Patient Dies

Steven Henson is accused of unlawfully distributing prescription drugs

(Newser) - The courtroom gasped. The accused showed no emotion. The judge made his ruling clear: Kansas doctor Steven Henson was getting life in prison for distributing prescription drugs that took a patient's life, NBC News reports. Found guilty in October on charges including conspiracy to distribute prescription drugs outside a... More »

In America's Jails, a Crisis Is Worsening

More and more inmates have addictions or mental illnesses, and local sheriffs can't cope

(Newser) - It's a collision of realities that adds up to worsening trouble for American jails: More inmates than ever have addictions or mental illnesses, while county sheriffs don't have the expertise or the resources to cope. Steve Coll of the New Yorker takes a deep dive into what his... More »

OxyContin Exec Boasted of 'Blizzard of Prescriptions'

Sackler accused of misleading public about dangers of addiction

(Newser) - Some of the seeds of today's opioid crisis were sown at the 1995 launch party of OxyContin, where Purdue Pharma exec Richard Sackler promised "a blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition," according to a memo filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. She accuses Sackler... More »

Ominous New Stat on Opioid Deaths Released

Americans have greater chance of dying of an overdose than in a car crash

(Newser) - It's no secret that opioid deaths are rising in the US, but a new statistic brings home the danger. For the first time, Americans now have a greater chance of dying from an accidental opioid overdose than from a motor vehicle crash, reports USA Today . The stat comes from... More »

1 Dead, 12 Hospitalized After Calif. 'Mass Overdose'

Police believe fentanyl is to blame

(Newser) - The powerful opioid fentanyl is believed to have caused what police in Chico, Calif., are calling a "mass casualty incident" Saturday morning. Authorities say one person died and another 12 were hospitalized after a mass overdose. Chico Fire Department Chief Steve Standridge says every ambulance in the city was... More »

Even 'Dark Web' Dealers Refuse to Sell This Drug

Some sellers say fentanyl is just too dangerous

(Newser) - Fentanyl suppliers on the so-called "dark web" are delisting the drug because it's just too dangerous—and tends to attract police attention, the Guardian reports. If true, the move places fentanyl alongside explosives and certain firearms that are too risky for some purveyors to sell. "There are... More »

Super-Potent Opioid Wins FDA Approval

Dsuvia will be tightly controlled, the FDA promises

(Newser) - It's called Dsuvia, and the potency of this opioid is hard to fathom: It's up to 1,000 times stronger than morphine and up to 10 times stronger than fentanyl, reports USA Today . Despite the worries of critics that it will add to the nation's opioid problem,... More »

Record-Breaking Drug OD Deaths in US Last Year

200 people died per day in US in 2017, per the DEA

(Newser) - Drug overdose deaths hit the highest level ever recorded in the US last year, with an estimated 200 people dying per day, according to a report by the DEA. Most of that was the result of a record number of opioid-related deaths. Preliminary figures show more than 72,000 people... More »

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