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, suppressing opioid-induced constipation, as well as for executions in the United States. Extremely potent opioids such as carfentanil are only approved for veterinary use.
Latest news and discussion about the opioid epidemic in the U.S.
  • Elevated opioid risks found at Native American hospitals
    WSB Radio

    Elevated opioid risks found at Native American hospitals

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -  U.S. government hospitals put Native American patients at increased risk for opioid abuse and overdoses, failing to follow their own protocols for prescribing and dispensing the drugs, according to a federal audit made public Monday. The report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General does not say whether patients suffered because of the hospitals' practices. But all five Indian Health Service hospitals that were reviewed had patients who were given opioids in amounts exceeding federal guidelines, the report said. "There are vulnerabilities with this particular population in the opioid prescribing and dispensing practices," said Carla

  • For Surgeon General Jerome Adams, the fight against opioids is personal
    The Detroit News

    For Surgeon General Jerome Adams, the fight against opioids is personal

    Detroit — U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told attendees of the 110th annual NAACP Convention on Monday that the opioid epidemic is one of the primary health issues facing the black community, and one that has plagued his family as well. "For me, some of you know this, but the opioid crisis is very, very personal," Adams said during the convention's Health Luncheon at Cobo Center. "My baby brother, Phillip, is serving 10 years right now for stealing $200 to support his addiction. He suffered from untreated mental illness and turned to drugs to self medicate." Adams urged members of the black community to end the stigmatization of drugs users because members of all communities have been impacted

  • Revamped OxyContin was supposed to reduce abuse, but has it?
    wbal.com

    Revamped OxyContin was supposed to reduce abuse, but has it?

    Dr. Raeford Brown was uniquely positioned to help the U.S. government answer a critical question: Is a new version of the painkiller OxyContin helping fight the national opioid epidemic? An expert in pain treatment at the University of Kentucky, Brown led a panel of outside experts advising the Food and Drug Administration on opioids that have been reformulated to deter snorting and injecting. There's just one problem: Neither the company that makes OxyContin nor the FDA has allowed the experts to see data on whether it reduces abuse. "We asked for that data probably 40 or 50 times in last four or five years and were denied every time," said Brown, whose term as an FDA adviser ended in March.

  • Report: Government Hospitals Put Native Americans At Higher Risk For Opioid Abuse
    www.krwg.org

    Report: Government Hospitals Put Native Americans At Higher Risk For Opioid Abuse

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — U.S. government hospitals placed Native American patients at increased risk for opioid abuse and overdoses, failing to follow their own protocols for prescribing and dispensing the drugs, according to a federal audit made public Monday. The report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General does not draw conclusions about actual abuse or overdoses. But it said all five Indian Health Service hospitals that were reviewed had patients who were given opioids in amounts exceeding federal guidelines. "There are vulnerabilities with this particular population in the opioid prescribing and dispensing practices," said Carla Lewis, one of the

  • Audit: Hospitals put Native Americans at risk with opioids
    The Washingtion Times

    Audit: Hospitals put Native Americans at risk with opioids

    Government hospitals placed Native American patients at increased risk for opioid abuse and overdoses, failing to follow their own protocols for prescribing and dispensing the drugs, according to a federal audit released Monday. The report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General doesn't draw any conclusions about actual abuse or overdoses.

  • WTHR Indianapolis

    Hospitals put Native Americans at opioid risk, audit says

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — U.S. government hospitals placed Native American patients at increased risk for opioid abuse and overdoses, failing to follow their own protocols for prescribing and dispensing the drugs, according to a federal audit made public Monday. The report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General does not draw conclusions about actual abuse or overdoses. But it said all five Indian Health Service hospitals that were reviewed had patients who were given opioids in amounts exceeding federal guidelines. "There are vulnerabilities with this particular population in the opioid prescribing and dispensing practices," said Carla Lewis, one of the

  • New opioid numbers add fuel to lawsuit against manufacturers, district attorney says
    WJHL | Tri-Cities News & Weather

    New opioid numbers add fuel to lawsuit against manufacturers, district attorney says

    Data released by the Drug Enforcement Administration will be added to a court battle against drug manufacturers, according to Sullivan County District Attorney Barry Staubus. The numbers, released by the DEA and reported by The Washington Post, detail the number of painkillers prescribed between 2006 and 2012 across the nation. An interactive map on The Washington Post's report shows a concentration in southern Appalachia, and localized numbers show Sullivan County to be among the heaviest in opioid prescriptions in that time period. Out of more than 76 billion pills distributed across the country during that time period, 2.5 billion pain pills were prescribed in Tennessee and 1.6 billion were

  • UW expert: The best way to treat opioid addiction
    MyNorthwest.com

    UW expert: The best way to treat opioid addiction

    Treating opioid addiction as a medical condition is emerging as the best way to combat the opioid crisis, according to one expert who spoke with the Candy, Mike, and Todd Show on KIRO Radio. “If you find someone who has an addiction to pills or who has transitioned from pills to heroin, really, the mainstay of treatment, and the most effective way to keep people alive, is medications for opioid use disorder,” Dr. Joseph Merrill said. “Those medicines are quite effective,” he said. “From a policy angle, really what you need to do is figure out how you are going to help people access treatment, not just in cities, but in rural areas which were really hard hit by the opioid problem.” “Expanding

  • Paris's Louvre removes Sackler family name from museum wing over opioid ties
    The Hill

    Paris's Louvre removes Sackler family name from museum wing over opioid ties

    The Louvre museum in Paris has removed references acknowledging donations from the Sackler family, the founders of the company that manufacturers OxyContin.  Other references to the family have been covered with gray tape and online references have been removed, the Times reports.  Nadia Refsi, a spokeswoman for the Louvre, told The Hill that the Sackler family has not donated to the museum since 1997. Refsi said the room “no longer bears the Sackler name” due to exceeding a 20-year honorary naming limit the museum's board of directors put in place in 2003.  Refsi did not immediately respond as to why the name had been taken down recently, not when it hit the 20-year mark, or as to whether or

  • Revamped OxyContin was supposed to reduce abuse, but has it?
    Boston.com

    Revamped OxyContin was supposed to reduce abuse, but has it?

    Dr. Raeford Brown was uniquely positioned to help the U.S. government answer a critical question: Is a new version of the painkiller OxyContin helping fight the national opioid epidemic? An expert in pain treatment at the University of Kentucky, Brown led a panel of outside experts advising the Food and Drug Administration on opioids that have been reformulated to deter snorting and injecting. There's just one problem: Neither the company that makes OxyContin nor the FDA has allowed the experts to see data on whether it reduces abuse. “We asked for that data probably 40 or 50 times in last four or five years and were denied every time,” said Brown, whose term as an FDA adviser ended in March.

  • Missouri dentists could now lose their license for prescribing Oxycontin
    The Kansas City Star

    Missouri dentists could now lose their license for prescribing Oxycontin

    A new Missouri law limits the dosage and type of opioid pain medications prescribed by the state's dentists — amid mounting evidence that painkillers after routine dental work are contributing to the national addiction epidemic. Senate Bill 514, signed by Gov. Mike Parson earlier this month, says that dentists should restrict opioid prescriptions to no more than the equivalent of 10 regular Vicodin pills per day and shouldn't prescribe long-acting opioids like Oxycontin at all. Dan Kessler, the president of the Missouri Dental Association, said the trade group worked with lawmakers on the language and supported the bill. “I think we all are for limitations and not over-prescribing or not even

  • Buried in opioids, sickened community eyes drugmakers' role
    Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

    Buried in opioids, sickened community eyes drugmakers' role

    JACKSON, Ohio – The numbers are staggering: An average yearly total of 107 opioid pills per resident were distributed over a seven-year period in this rural Appalachian county. The newly released federal data is shocking even to people who live here in Jackson County, where nearly everyone seems to have known someone who died from drug-related causes. Five children in one elementary school class were said to have lost a parent to an overdose death this past academic year. Standing at his son's grave in Coalton, a village of fewer than 500 people, Eddie Davis remembers vividly his last conversation, in his home nearly 10 years ago, with the son he called Bub, “not knowing that would be the last

  • The MetroWest Daily News

    Editorial: Finding pain relief without addiction - Opinion

    The opioid epidemic has been well documented on these pages as well as within the folds of hundreds of other newspapers across the country. From the pharmaceutical industry's purposeful mischaracterization of its products, to the doctors who willingly over-prescribed them, to the drug dealers who continue to feed the resulting addictions, there is an expansive gallery of villains in this story, which has resulted in thousands of deaths, devastated families, and bereft communities in its wake. At the same time, there have been a handful of heroes who have been working to turn the tide of this scourge, including a local hand surgeon who has begun what seems like a common-sense campaign to prescribe nonaddictive painkillers whenever and wherever possible. Dr. Peter Bentivegna may strike some as an unlikely crusader in the war against opioid addiction.

  • KWWL Iowa

    Florida's 'pill mills' were a gateway to the opioid crisis

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida survives on tourism, but a decade ago thousands of visitors made frequent trips to the state not to visit its theme parks or beaches. Instead, they came for cheap and easy prescription painkillers sold at unscrupulous walk-in clinics. The clinics started in the 1990s and began proliferating in the early 2000s, with little oversight. Their parking lots filled with vehicles sporting license plates from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and elsewhere. The “pill mills” helped seed an overdose epidemic in many communities where the pills ended up. This week's release of federal data showing the flow of prescription opioids throughout the U.S. has again put the spotlight

  • Fox News

    Ohio pharmaceutical distributor accused of flooding Appalachia with opioids

    An Ohio pharmaceutical distributor has been accused in a criminal indictment of scheming to flood parts of rural Appalachia with millions of painkillers, contributing to the opioid epidemic. Miami-Luken was charged with conspiring to provide hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to more than 200 pharmacies in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and Tennessee, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Thursday. Also indicted were Miami-Luken's former president Anthony Rattini, 71, the firm's former compliance officer, and two West Virginia pharmacists, the paper reported. "They and other co-conspirators are alleged to have knowingly entered into an agreement to distribute ... outside the scope of professional practice