Opioid crisis

Opioids are substances 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.
  • Health insurer Cigna is zeroing in on targeted communities in an effort to combat the opioid crisis (CI)
    markets.businessinsider.com

    Health insurer Cigna is zeroing in on targeted communities in an effort to combat the opioid crisis (CI)

    Cigna is taking a new approach to combat the opioid crisis by focusing in on communities with higher than average overdose rates.  The health insurer is partnering with health care providers, pharmacists and community organizations to educate, intervene and support its customers.  Cigna is also working with employers to develop a more comprehensive coverage plan for its customers.  Cigna is taking a new approach to combat the opioid epidemic. Its goal: decrease opioid overdoses by 25% by 2021 in communities around the US that have higher-than average overdose rates. While the health insurer has taken steps earlier this year to address the epidemic by announcing a 25% reduction in prescription

  • Science Daily

    Brain's response to opioids: New research provides expanded insights

    The LKSOM team's participation in this research was led by Lee-Yuan Liu-Chen, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology in the Center for Substance Abuse Research. Other researchers contributing to the study from LKSOM are Chongguang Chen, a research technologist and Yi-Ting Chiu, a former postdoctoral fellow, in Dr. Liu-Chen's group in the Center for Substance Abuse Research. The signal cascades that are used by cells to respond to external stimuli resemble the chain of command of a company. Activation of a receptor, which acts as the head of the company, gives instruction to other proteins inside the cells, which act as groups of subordinates. This information is then passed down to lower levels of the

  • Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Key ObamaCare groups in limbo
    The Hill

    Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Key ObamaCare groups in limbo

    President TrumpDonald John TrumpFamily immigration detention centers could be at capacity within days: report Trump likely to meet with Putin in July: report DOJ requests military lawyers to help prosecute immigration crimes: report MORE signed an executive order Wednesday ending his policy of separating migrant children from their families at the border, a controversy which had dominated Washington. On the health front, Amazon, JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway finally named a CEO for their health care startup, and the Trump administration is already facing a lawsuit over its rule on association health plans. Local groups that help people sign up for ObamaCare and Medicaid have yet to hear from the Trump administration about their annual federal funding.

  • A fentanyl death. A crackdown on opioid dealers. Will it help?
    tampabay.com

    A fentanyl death. A crackdown on opioid dealers. Will it help?

    TAMPA — Loueita Hargens had known for years how her son Bradley Dykes would die. She had seen him cycle through drugs of choice, had lost track of the number of times he'd wound up in the hospital or prison. A recovering alcoholic herself, she cut him off several years ago. "If you want to talk, you can find me at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting," the mother told her son. It finally happened in November: Dykes fatally overdosed on the synthetic opioid fentanyl. He was 46. Hargens was grief stricken but not shocked, and months later, another emotion has joined the mix. She hopes the federal prosecution of her son's alleged drug dealer will prevent similar deaths. "I hope that the new aggressive

  • Jimmy DeButts: GOP candidates fuel fear with mailings, ignore opioid crisis
    Baltimore Sun

    Jimmy DeButts: GOP candidates fuel fear with mailings, ignore opioid crisis

    MS-13, not opioids, are the greatest threat to life in Anne Arundel County. That's based solely on campaign literature sent to me as a registered Republicans living in District 33. Thanks to the 20 mailers I've received in the past month, I know: I can't trust Jerry Walker. Apparently, he sides with Liberal Democrats in a move to allow crime, MS-13 gangs and violence to increase. Sid Saab, Tony McConkey and Michael Malone are fighting illegal immigration and liberal efforts to make Maryland a sanctuary state. Michael Peroutka says “MS-13 is what you get when you become a sanctuary county.” The 152 Anne Arundel County residents who died from opioid overdoses in 2017 are mentioned zero times. Some

  • UK panel finds lives shortened by hospital's opioid use
    Associated Press

    UK panel finds lives shortened by hospital's opioid use

    LONDON (AP) — As many as 650 people had their lives shortened by a British hospital's institutionalized practice of administering opioids without medical justification between 1989 and 2000, an independent panel concluded Wednesday after years of pressure from family members who demanded answers about the deaths of their loved ones.

  • New initiative to help Wisconsin veterans overcome opioid use
    waow.com

    New initiative to help Wisconsin veterans overcome opioid use

    The 'Dose of Reality' campaign is aimed to help veterans battle the state wide opioid epidemic .  Attorney Brad Schimel joined other law makers in Wausau on Tuesday as he announced the next phase of the campaign.  One veteran said it will help many who don't feel they have the resources to avoid drug use. "Recognizing that the veterans community is more susceptible of that issue and this is a valuable initiative for the state to undertake," said Steven Janke from the Veteran's Field Representative. The Department of Justice said U.S. veterans are twice as likely to suffer from a fatal over dose.  The campaign has already provided more than 800 bottles of naloxone, a drug used to reverse an overdose.

  • Here's how stolen metals are fueling New Jersey's opioid crisis
    Daily Record

    Here's how stolen metals are fueling New Jersey's opioid crisis

    Tens of millions of dollars worth of metals ripped from cellphone towers, power stations and even graveyards are being fenced at secondhand shops and scrap yards by drug addicts looking to pay for their next fix, a state watchdog agency found. The State Commission of Investigation said the rampant theft – occurring under the noses of local authorities – leads to breakdowns in cell service and electrical power, as well as higher costs for taxpayers and consumers to replace wiring, manhole covers and other metal stolen from communities and businesses. The illicit trade in stolen metals is a major driver of New Jersey's opioid crisis, the commission said in a report, noting that more than a third of overdose victims in two counties showed up in databases of people who had sold materials to secondhand stores, pawn shops and scrap metal yards.

  • Study: DEA crackdown on opioids pushed abusers to black market
    UPI

    Study: DEA crackdown on opioids pushed abusers to black market

    FRIDAY, June 15, 2018 -- Illegal opioid sales on the internet have surged in the wake of U.S. government crackdowns on prescriptions for the highly addictive painkillers, a new study shows. In 2014, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reclassified the opioid hydrocodone (Vicodin). The change made the drug harder to prescribe and banned automatic refills. Not surprisingly, the number of such prescriptions plunged by 26 percent between mid-2013 and mid-2015. Yet a team of international investigators also found that since the new regulation took effect, more people have turned to purchasing opioids online without a prescription, using software-encrypted online portals that permit illegal sales

  • Easthampton woman receives letter from White House after losing son to opioid overdose
    WWLP

    Easthampton woman receives letter from White House after losing son to opioid overdose

    EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - An Easthampton woman received a letter from President Trump after writing to him about losing her son to the opioid epidemic. Wendy Werbiskis lost her 26-year-old son Danny to an overdose last year. Werbiskis and thousands of other parents across the country wrote letters to the president in February, telling him about their kids, and the toll the opioid epidemic is taking. "We don't want any more parents to join our club, we don't. It's a club no parent ever wants to become a part of," said Werbiskis. Werbiskis said many of the parents expected no response, but they wanted their stories heard. "A few weeks ago, parents started posting in our online group, I received

  • Joe Manchin says his re-election bid is ground zero for Obamacare's future
    The Washington Times

    Joe Manchin says his re-election bid is ground zero for Obamacare's future

    Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., testifies during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the nomination of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman to become the US ambassador to Russia, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017 in Washington. Sen. Joe Manchin III says his office has been flooded with flood with stories from West Virginia residents begging him to preserve Obamacare, saying they'll lose medical coverage and could face bankruptcy if core parts of the law are ended.

  • The Seattle Times

    Opioid crisis, personal aides on returning lawmakers' agenda

    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers are returning to the Statehouse to consider over 100 unfunded bills and bonds. The Legislature's special session is set to start Tuesday. The appropriations committee unanimously sent lawmakers nearly $64 million worth of widely supported bills in two packages. They tackle issues from the opioid crisis, to lead abatement, school health centers, reimbursement for personal care aides, and county jail funding. Legislative leaders Monday mulled the fate of dozens of other bills in limbo due to lack of funding. Bonds weren't on the agenda. Lawmakers and lobbyists are jockeying over $141 million in unappropriated surplus funds. Some lawmakers are trying to compromise