drug abuse

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Doctors at some of the largest U.S. hospital chains admit they went overboard with opioids to make people as pain-free as possible, and now they shoulder part of the blame for the nation’s opioid crisis. To be part of the cure, they’ve begun to issue an uncomfortable warning to patients: You’re going to feel some pain.

Jonathan Guffey has chiseled youthful looks and, at 32, does not have the haggard bearing of someone who has spent more than half his life hooked on opioids. That stint with the drug started at 15 and ended — he says for good — 22 months ago. He has a job working with his family in construction, but his work history is pockmarked by addiction.

"I've worked in a couple of factories for a short amount of time, probably just long enough to get the first check to get high off of," Guffey says.

Prescribed narcotic painkillers continue to fuel a nationwide opioid epidemic—nearly half of fatal overdoses in the United States involve opioids prescribed by a doctor.

Some people addicted to oxycodone and other opioids are now turning to widely available diarrhea medications to manage their withdrawal symptoms or get high.

The results can be dangerous to the heart — and sometimes fatal — warn toxicologists in a study recently published online in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Lawmakers are pushing a measure encouraging the use of abuse-resistant opioids. 

Pharmacies Limit Legitimate Paid Meds

Nov 18, 2014

The state of Florida recently endured a terrible epidemic; prescription drug abuse. Approximately 7 persons died daily in our state from prescription drug overdoses. This was fueled by the proliferation of “pill mills” that dispensed millions of units of oxycodone, carisoprodol, and alprazolam.

Pharmacies were also involved the dispensing of these drugs. Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy were fined tens of millions of dollars by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for violating rules and regulations for dispensing controlled substances.

AP Photo/Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office

Two weeks before a Florida man fatally shot his daughter and six grandchildren, someone called the state child abuse hotline, worried that adults were doing drugs in front of the kids, according to documents released Monday.

Authorities said 51-year-old Donald Spirit called 911 from his mobile home Thursday warning he might hurt himself or others. By the time a deputy arrived, Spirit had committed suicide. And he had killed 28-year-old Sarah Spirit and her six children, including an infant girl born in June.

Most child deaths from abuse or neglect uncovered in a year-long Miami Herald investigation occurred in families where one or both parents had a documented history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Witnesses say that Palm Beach County deputies made the right decision when they shot and killed a naked man who was terrorizing residents near a West Delray neighborhood, the Sun Sentinel reports.

One victim was bitten in the face in the attack, which was reminiscent of one that left a homeless man disfigured in May 2012 on Miami’s MacArthur Causeway.

A mother in West Boca faces a child abuse charge after giving her 6-year-old son one of the Adderall pills that had been prescribed for her, but not him.

The Food and Drug Administration today took another step toward restricting use of OxyContin and other powerful and often-abused prescription pain medications.

Emma Morrison was born last year to a mother who had permanently lost custody of her four other children and both of Emma’s parents had a long history of domestic violence, drug abuse, and arrests. Yet child-service workers sent the newborn home with her mother. It did not end well, the Miami Herald reports.

Hydrocodone, an opiod akin to heroin, has become a threat to patients, so FDA may reclassify it so that a new prescription is required each month a patient takes it. Cancer doctors worry that may be bad for their patients, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

No state income tax. Warm weather. Lots of fitness trainers. And cash-only medical clinics with no state regulation.