opioids

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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 »

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 »

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 »

House Takes Aim at US Opioid Addiction

New legislation encourages states to expand treatment through Medicaid

(Newser) - The House has overwhelmingly approved legislation designed to give health-care providers more tools to stem an opioid crisis that is killing more than 115 people in the United States daily, the AP reports. The legislation passed Friday by a vote of 396-14. It incorporates dozens of opioid-related bills that lawmakers... More »

Artist Makes a Point Outside Drugmaker's Headquarters

Domenic Esposito tries to shame OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma with giant spoon

(Newser) - An 800-pound, nearly 11-foot-long steel sculpture of a bent and burned drug spoon was placed Friday in front of the Connecticut headquarters of drugmaker Purdue Pharma as part of an art protest against the opioid crisis. Artist Domenic Esposito and art gallery owner Fernando Alvarez placed the sculpture at the... More »

OxyContin Maker Kept a Dark Secret: Confidential Report

Execs knew early that patients were abusing drug, says New York Times

(Newser) - The company behind OxyContin may have a little secret—that it knew early on about people abusing its powerful painkilling drug and said nothing, the New York Times reports. Purdue Pharma executives received reports of "significant" abuse soon after Oxycontin's 1996 release, including people stealing and snorting the... More »

'Lifesaving' Item the Surgeon General Wants Us to Carry

Jerome Adams wants more Americans to keep naloxone on hand to prevent fatal overdoses

(Newser) - The US' chief doctor wants more Americans to carry the overdose antidote naloxone to help combat the nation's opioid crisis and save lives. US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams was to speak about the new public health advisory Thursday at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in... More »

There's a War on Opioids. They Are Its Collateral Damage

How sufferers of chronic pain became 'pain refugees'

(Newser) - After years of having their condition misunderstood, sufferers of chronic pain now find themselves in the position of being, as one patient puts it, collateral in the country's war on drugs. Harper's takes a long look at self-described "pain refugees," who need opioids to do everything... More »

White House: Death Penalty Will Be Part of Opioid Response

But trafficking in fentanyl won't be a capital crime

(Newser) - The White House has rolled out the "more nuanced" response to the opioid crisis it promised after President Trump talked about executing drug dealers earlier this month. The revised plan White House officials discussed Sunday still involves the death penalty, but officials say they don't plan to make... More »

Tylenol, Advil Work Just as Well as Opioids

Study finds they're not much better than over-the-counter meds for pain relief

(Newser) - Even after overdose and addiction risks became known, opioid prescriptions continued on the belief that the drugs were more effective at relieving pain than other medications. New research suggests that may not be the case. In a study in JAMA , scientists say opioids appear to be no better at treating... More »

CDC Head on Opioid Report: 'This Is a Wake-Up Call'

ER overdoses up 30% across the US

(Newser) - America's opioid epidemic is getting worse, not better, according to an alarming new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Tuesday report shows opioid overdoses that led to emergency room visits across the country jumped 30% from July 2016 to September 2017. In the Midwest, overdoses... More »

The 'Secondary Victims' of Adults' Opioid Addiction: Kids

More children, teens ending up in hospital from overdoses

(Newser) - Opioid poisonings and overdoses are sending increasing numbers of US children and teens to the hospital, according to a study showing a substantial rise in young patients needing critical care. The study, published Monday in Pediatrics, included accidental poisonings along with overdoses from intentional use, per the AP . Prescription painkillers... More »

OxyContin Maker Ends Industry-Changing Strategy

Purdue Pharma will no longer promote the painkiller to doctors

(Newser) - The medical website STAT sees it as the "end of an era"—the maker of OxyContin is going to stop promoting the opioid to doctors. As Bloomberg reports, Purdue Pharma is cutting its sales staff in half to 200 employees and will no longer send representatives to doctors'... More »

FDA Issues Strongest Warning Yet on Kratom

Substance is a dangerous opioid, agency says

(Newser) - Kratom is a deadly opioid, not a safe alternative to opioids or an effective treatment for withdrawal, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday in its strongest warning yet against the herbal supplement. The agency said new data shows that the increasingly popular substance has "opioid properties" and has... More »

In One Year, Town of 400 Was Shipped 2.2M Opioids

W.Va. numbers are 'outrageous,' say congressional investigators

(Newser) - Williamson, W.Va., is home to 2,900 people. That's one reason congressional investigators are flabbergasted by documents showing two local pharmacies received 20.8 million prescription painkillers from out-of-state drug companies over a decade, reports the Charleston Gazette-Mail . Ohio-based wholesaler Miami-Luken says it supplied 6.4 million hydrocodone... More »

24-Year-Old Trump Appointee Runs Into Resume Trouble

WaPo looks at inconsistencies on Taylor Weyeneth's resumes

(Newser) - Some 24-year-olds are wunderkinds. The Washington Post clearly doesn't think Taylor Weyeneth belongs in that category. Weyeneth was a relative unknown until the Post on Jan. 14 ran a piece looking at the "rising star at the Office of National Drug Control Policy"—and the paltry resume... More »

Stuck With Leftover Opioids? Walmart Has a Solution

Walmart to offer first-of-its-kind product to customers

(Newser) - Walmart is helping customers get rid of leftover opioids by giving them packets that turn the addictive painkillers into a useless gel. The retail giant announced Wednesday that it will provide the packets free with opioid prescriptions filled at its 4,700 US pharmacies. The small packets, made by DisposeRx... More »

Doc Prescribed Him Percocet. It Was All Downhill From There

Inside one former journalist's opioid experience

(Newser) - "It was a miracle I was still alive." So writes a former journalist in describing his battle with opioids—except those words aren't coming from his mouth. They're what a doctor told him in 2012 after reviewing his intake: a prescribed 180 Oxycodone pills a month,... More »

Man in Charge of US Mortality Stats Is 'Really Alarmed'

Life expectancy drops for second year in a row

(Newser) - Robert Anderson, mortality statistics chief at the National Center for Health Statistics says he's "not prone to dramatic statements"—but he thinks we should be "really alarmed" by the finding that Americans' life expectancy has gone down for the second year in a row. The average... More »

Prosecutors Scramble to Sell Seized Bitcoin

Utah suspect's cache has exploded in value

(Newser) - US attorneys in Utah prosecuting a multimillion-dollar opioid drug ring are moving quickly to sell seized bitcoin that has exploded in value to about $8.5 million since the alleged ringleader's arrest a year ago. The US Attorney's Office for Utah cites the digital currency's volatility in... More »

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