Opioid crisis

Opioids are narcotics that act on opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects. Medically they are primarily used for pain relief, including anesthesia. Other medical uses include suppression of diarrhea, replacement therapy for opioid use disorder, reversing opioid overdose, suppressing cough, and suppressing opioid induced constipation. Extremely potent opioids such as carfentanil are only approved for veterinary use.
Latest news and discussion about the opioid epidemic in the U.S.
  • Toronto police warn of dangerous narcotics after 7 fatal overdoses since Aug. 2
    CTVNews

    Toronto police warn of dangerous narcotics after 7 fatal overdoses since Aug. 2

    Toronto police are warning about a batch of dangerous narcotics being sold downtown after seven overdose deaths in the city since Aug. 2. Police say they believe the drugs responsible are a deadly batch of fentanyl or carfentanil. Fentanyl is a synthetic painkiller about 100 times stronger than morphine and carfentanil is an even stronger opioid originally developed for veterinarians to sedate elephants and other large animals. These opioids have been blamed for the growing overdose crisis that federal health officials say killed at least 1,460 Canadians in the first half of 2017. The police warning comes a day after the Ontario government paused plans to open three new temporary overdose-prevention

  • The ancient seeds of the opioid crisis, a love letter to physics, and a ticket to the termite circus: Books in brief
    Nature

    The ancient seeds of the opioid crisis, a love letter to physics, and a ticket to the termite circus: Books in brief

    Milk of Paradise Lucy Inglis Macmillan (2018) It has ignited brutal wars, addicted millions and transformed medicine. Opium (the sap of the poppy Papaver somniferum), as cultural historian Lucy Inglis's magisterial chronicle reveals, has been used and abused for millennia, wending its way from ancient Mesopotamia to Asia and Victorian Britain as a sedative and recreational drug. The emergence of morphine and heroin in the nineteenth century sparked pharmacological advances, as well as illicit trade, conflicts and the US opioid crisis. As Inglis observes, “we must never forget that this is a battle fought only with ourselves”. The Consolations of Physics Tim Radford Sceptre (2018) This beautifully

  • How digital drug users could help to halt the US opioid epidemic
    Nature

    How digital drug users could help to halt the US opioid epidemic

    With the tip of her syringe, Brandi pokes at a grey lump of heroin in a spoon. It's a new variety of the drug that has shown up on the market in the past few days, and Brandi likes it. “I feel this more, I feel more of the pain resistance,” she says. Once it has dissolved into a liquid, she injects it into her arm, then uses a fresh needle to inject the skinny arm of another woman. “She does it better than the hospital,” the woman comments. “I'll help anybody who needs it,” Brandi explains to public-health researcher Daniel Ciccarone of the University of California, San Francisco, who has been filming the entire process. Ciccarone's team has embedded with Brandi — whose name has been changed

  • Opioid makers slapped with lawsuit from Hillsborough Co.
    FOX13news

    Opioid makers slapped with lawsuit from Hillsborough Co.

    TAMPA (FOX 13) - Whether its big tobacco, big oil, or big pharmaceutical companies, Attorney Mike Moore isn't afraid of a fight. He says drug makers have caused as much damage to Florida as BP's oil spill and says those companies should pay.     "Just like BP paid to clean up the oil spill, we want these companies to clean up the pill spill," Moore said. Moore, who sued big tobacco in the 90s, is representing Hillsborough County in its lawsuit against several pharmaceutical companies. The lawsuit alleges the drug companies misrepresented the risks of opioids, which they marketed for chronic pain. “There is not one valid, scientific study that supports the use of opioid treatment for long-term

  • PR Newswire

    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Invests $10 Million In Fight Against Opioid Misuse And Substance Use Disorder

    PHOENIX, Aug. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) joined Governor Doug Ducey today to launch Mobilize AZ , a multi-faceted program to address the misuse of opioids and other substances and reduce overdose-related deaths in Arizona. With BCBSAZ investing $10 million over three years, the initiative will support prevention, treatment, and recovery programs to help providers, the community, and local organizations fight against the opioid epidemic. In the state of Arizona alone, there were more than 8,500 suspected opioid overdoses and more than 1,500 suspected opioid deaths in the last year.

  • Public gives input on federal grant to combat opioids
    Concord Monitor

    Public gives input on federal grant to combat opioids

    Patty Crooker, of Nashua, thinks there needs to be more education and better mobile services for people battling addiction. Corienne Dodge would like to see more sober housing in New Hampshire that would remain under the watchful eye of heightened government oversight. Cathy Thompson from UNH's Northeast Passage program, which promotes recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities, wants the state to support more therapy options for people in treatment and recovery. They were among dozens of community members and professionals who offered their thoughts on how  money from a federal grant should be used to battle the opioid crisis. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

  • 'Pill spill': Hillsborough officials announce details of opioid lawsuit
    Tampa Bay Times

    'Pill spill': Hillsborough officials announce details of opioid lawsuit

    TAMPA Attorney Mike Moore has a legal analogy for the lawsuit Hillsborough County filed Tuesday against 14 drug makers and distributors. When oil giant BP s rig blew up in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing 11 people and spilling millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the company eventually paid to compensate for the lives lost and the ecological damage, said Moore, a Mississippi-based lawyer who worked on that settlement. Now Hillsborough County is joining the ranks of plaintiffs who want companies responsible for the opioid addiction crisis to take similar responsibility. "Just like BP paid to clean up the oil spill, we want these companies to pay to clean up the pill spill," Moore, who is part of a team of lawyers representing the county, said at a news conference.

  • Reuters

    New York sues OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma over opioids

    New York state on Tuesday sued Purdue Pharma LP, accusing the OxyContin maker of widespread fraud and deception in the marketing of opioids, and contributing to a nationwide epidemic that has killed thousands. The state blamed Purdue for running what it called a reckless, decades-long scheme to mislead doctors and patients by overstating the ability of opioids to improve bodily function, while downplaying the risk of addiction. This enabled privately held Purdue to boost prescriptions and profits, at the cost of lost lives and "devastation" in communities now "awash" with the painkillers, according to the complaint filed in the state supreme court in Suffolk County.

  • New York sues OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma over opioids
    Reuters

    New York sues OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma over opioids

    New York state on Tuesday sued Purdue Pharma LP, accusing the OxyContin maker of widespread fraud and deception in the marketing of opioids, and contributing to a nationwide epidemic that has killed thousands. The state blamed Purdue for running what it called a reckless, decades-long scheme to mislead doctors and patients by overstating the ability of opioids to improve bodily function, while downplaying the risk of addiction. This enabled privately held Purdue to boost prescriptions and profits, at the cost of lost lives and “devastation” in communities now “awash” with the painkillers, according to the complaint filed in the state supreme court in Suffolk County. “The opioid epidemic was manufactured by unscrupulous distributors who developed a $400 billion industry pumping human misery into our communities,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

  • Johns Hopkins panel creates guidelines for prescribing opioids after common surgeries
    Baltimore Sun

    Johns Hopkins panel creates guidelines for prescribing opioids after common surgeries

    Johns Hopkins Hospital is recommending its doctors give patients far fewer opioids following surgery than they have in the past, after a panel including doctors, nurses and patients looked at the prescribing habits of physicians. The panel developed guidelines for how much opioids doctors should prescribe for patients after 20 specific surgeries, such as hysterectomy and breast surgery, saying there is no broad brush formula for pain treatment with opioids. It is the latest effort by the medical community to reduce the amount of opioids prescribed to patients. Some of the nation's epidemic of opioid addiction and overdoses has been traced to doctors generally prescribing more of the painkillers than patients need.

  • Nebraska carries out its first execution since 1997
    Reuters

    Nebraska carries out its first execution since 1997

    Carey Moore, 60, was put to death at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, a state official told local media at the site. The execution also marked the first time Nebraska has used a lethal injection to kill an inmate since the death penalty was reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976.

  • Chicago Pharmacists Accused Of Opioid Theft
    CBS Chicago

    Chicago Pharmacists Accused Of Opioid Theft

    Chicago Pharmacists Accused Of Opioid Theft Two Chicago pharmacists are accused with stealing and selling opioids.