Opioids

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The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health advisory this week regarding the use of Kratom - an herb that some people use to treat pain, stress, anxiety, and even opioid withdrawal.

Report Shows 'Staggering' Drug Deaths In Florida

23 hours ago

A highly anticipated report from Florida's medical examiners shows dramatic increases in all types of drug-related deaths, including a 97 percent increase in deaths caused by the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Federal health officials Tuesday issued a warning about kratom, a herbal product being promoted as a safe alternative to opioids for pain that is also marketed for treating addiction, anxiety and depression.

The Food and Drug Administration says there's insufficient evidence the supplement works to treat addiction or other problems and cited growing evidence it can be dangerous. Kratom may cause seizures, liver damage and withdrawal symptoms.

Opioid Crisis Taking Its Toll On Florida Children

Nov 8, 2017

More than 4,000 babies were born addicted to opioids in Florida last year, an increase of over 1,000 percent from a decade ago.

Florida’s biggest health insurer announced Tuesday it is dropping coverage for OxyContin on Jan. 1, 2018 in an effort to help fight opioid abuse.

The spread of OxyContin around the world

Oct 31, 2017
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George Frey/Reuters 

Sales of OxyContin are down in the US. 

Now that we're in the midst of an opioid epidemic, doctors aren't prescribing the painkiller — and others like it — as much as they once did.

But something else is happening, too.

The family that owns the company that manufactures OxyContin — the Sackler family — is looking increasingly outward, to other countries, to market their product.

On the same day President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, the co-founder of a prominent opioid medication manufacturer has been arrested on fraud and racketeering charges. John Kapoor, former CEO of Insys Therapeutics, has been charged with conspiring to push the company's signature drug for unacceptable uses through a series of bribes and kickbacks.

Why the opioid crisis is an American problem

Oct 26, 2017
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George Frey/Reuters

In a speech on Thursday at the White House, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national health emergency. "The fact is, this is a worldwide problem," he said.

That might be so, but the crisis is much worse in the United States than in other countries.

President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency on Thursday, freeing up resources to deal with the epidemic.

Last year, more than 64,000 people died from drug overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics. Many of those overdoses were from heroin, prescription painkillers, fentanyl and other opioids.

An autopsy has confirmed that a 10-year-old Florida boy is among the state's youngest victims of the opioid crisis.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

President Trump declared a public health emergency to deal with the opioid epidemic Thursday, freeing up some resources for treatment. More than 140 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We are currently dealing with the worst drug crisis in American history," Trump said, adding, "it's just been so long in the making. Addressing it will require all of our effort."

"We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic," he said.

Julie Eldred has been struggling with addiction to opioids for more than a decade and she says the criminal justice system punishes her for it.

Eldred, a part-time pet caretaker in Acton, Mass., was put on probation last year for theft. She knew staying drug-free would be tough — especially at first, when she was going through opioid withdrawal. But, she says, she didn't have much of a choice.

needle of NARCAN drug
Charles Krupa AP / WLRN

Defeating one opioid overdose, one nasal spray at a time. That’s how the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO) is going about the fight against the opioid epidemic.

Sheriff deputies in Broward have been armed with overdose reversal nasal sprays since June, but the Florida Sheriffs Association just gave BSO a big boost by shipping 1,200 units of the medication this week so more deputies are able to carry it on them every day. 

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., has withdrawn his name from consideration as America's drug czar, President Trump said Tuesday. Marino is stepping back days after reports that legislation he sponsored hindered the Drug Enforcement Administration in its fight against the U.S. opioid crisis.

ep_jhu/flickr

Doctors would be limited to prescribing seven days' worth of opioids for patients with acute pain and would have to check a statewide database before ordering most prescription pain medications, under a proposal filed Friday in the state House.

The 114-page bill, sponsored by House Commerce Chairman Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, incorporates proposals put forward by Gov. Rick Scott aimed at curbing the opioid epidemic that has engulfed the state.

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