opioid addiction

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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 »

David Crosby: 'Not True' I Was Just a Donor

Musician tweets after death of biological son, who was raised by Melissa Etheridge

(Newser) - The death of Melissa Etheridge's 21-year-old son to an opioid addiction has put the focus on David Crosby, too. The musician was the biological father of Beckett Cypher, though he has so far remained relatively quiet over the death, save for a few tweeted responses, per Yahoo Entertainment . The... More »

He Got Addicted at West Point, Now Owes the US $330K

Football player Jared Rogers' opioid story raises larger questions about Army views on addiction

(Newser) - The temperature was around zero when the West Point football team took to the practice field early on the morning of March 4, 2014. So cold that defensive back Jared Rogers ended up with frostbite in his fingers. After a few days in the hospital, medical records show he left... 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 »

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 »

Sacklers Withdrew Billions Amid Opioid Scrutiny

Audit raises new questions about whether $3B settlement offer by Purdue Pharma is enough

(Newser) - A new audit related to the Sackler family's vast wealth shows that family members withdrew more than $10 billion from their pharmaceutical company as the scope of the nation's opioid crisis became clearer, reports the New York Times . The AP notes this contrast: From 1995 through 2007, the... 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Giant Opioid Spoon Delivers Protester's Message

Artist takes sculpture to Johnson & Johnson

(Newser) - An artist protesting the addiction crisis made his point Wednesday with an 800-pound opioid cooking spoon, which he brought to the front door of Johnson & Johnson's headquarters in New Jersey. The 10-foot-long, four-foot-tall aluminum sculpture by Dominic Esposito had the J&J logo etched in the handle. Johnson... 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 »

They Spent Six Figures on Son's Rehab. It Didn't Work

Vox investigates the nation's questionable rehab system

(Newser) - The booming opioid crisis has led to a rising need for rehab facilities to help people get sober. The problem is these places are expensive and, as Vox explains, they often don't work. As an example, the story focuses on the plight of Kim and Tim Blake of Vermont,... More »

Report: OxyContin Maker in Talks to Settle State Lawsuits

Source say Purdue has offered up to $12B

(Newser) - State attorneys general and lawyers representing local governments said Tuesday they are in active settlement talks with Purdue Pharma, the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin that is facing billions of dollars in potential liability for its role in the nation's opioid crisis. Purdue has been cast by attorneys... More »

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 »

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 »

She Lived 20 Years. Now Her Friend Will Go to Jail for 21

Emma Semler left Jennifer Werstler to die of heroin overdose

(Newser) - Tears flowing down her cheeks, Emma Semler turned to the family of a deceased friend and mouthed the words, "I'm sorry." The mother of Jennifer Werstler—who died of a heroin overdose on the floor of a KFC bathroom on her 20th birthday in 2014—wasn't... 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 »

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 »

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