opioid addiction

U.S. regulators have approved the first generic version of an under-the-tongue film for treating opioid addiction.

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People with addiction to opioids and their support network can get instant, anonymous help in seeking treatment. 

Congressional investigators say wholesale pharmaceutical distributors shipped hundreds of millions of prescription opioid pills to West Virginia, a state disproportionately ravaged by deaths caused by the addictive drugs. Now, lawmakers want executives of those companies to explain how that happened.

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Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio’s introduced the Protecting Newborns from Opioid Abuse Act on Thursday. It would set up a new system of collecting information around mothers and babies affected by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, and sharing it with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Medical marijuana appears to have put a dent in the opioid abuse epidemic, according to two studies published Monday.

The research suggests that some people turn to marijuana as a way to treat their pain, and by so doing, avoid more dangerous addictive drugs. The findings are the latest to lend support to the idea that some people are willing to substitute marijuana for opioids and other prescription drugs.

The opioid epidemic has become so severe it’s considered a national public health emergency, and a recent report suggests it could be linked to a higher rate of children in foster homes.

Broward County filed a new lawsuit in federal court Monday against manufacturers of opioid drugs.

Walmart, Walgreens, the McKesson Corp. and CVS Health are just some of the drug makers and distributors Broward County is suing.  

 

Others include Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal Health Inc., Health Mart Systems, Mallinckrodt, Amerisourcebergen Corp., as well as Endo Janssen, Purdue, Cephalon and Teva Pharmaceuticals. 

As the number of opioid overdoses continues climbing in Northeast Florida, a new clinic focused on battling addiction is opening in Springfield, just north of downtown Jacksonville.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

In the waning hours of the annual session, the Florida Legislature approved tough new restrictions Friday on prescription drugs and agreed to spend more than $53 million on treatment and prevention to battle the state’s opioid crisis.

As Florida’s legislative session winds down, the clock is running out on a bill that would expand legal needle exchange access in Broward and Palm Beach counties—and the doctor behind the proposal says he’ll keep pushing for a vote until the handkerchief drops in Tallahassee.

In light of a new study that finds non-opioid painkillers are just as effective as opioids in treating certain types of chronic pain, Dr. Ajay Wasan, professor and vice chair for pain medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, answers questions from listeners about opioids and chronic pain.

A measure to address Florida’s growing opioid crisis is nearing completion with just days left in the legislative session.

When Opioids Make Pain Worse

Mar 3, 2018

When patients arrive in the emergency room, nearly all but those with the most minor complaints get an IV.

To draw blood, give medications or administer fluids, the IV is the way doctors and nurses gain access to the body. Putting one in is quick and simple, and it's no more painful than a mild bee sting.

Yet for some patients, this routine procedure becomes excruciating. On my shifts as an emergency physician, I began to notice a strange pattern. These hypersensitive patients often had a history of using opioids.

Addiction specialists and law enforcement officials are pleading with Florida House members to keep funding for an injectable opioid-addiction treatment.

The House’s proposed budget zeroes out funding for Vivitrol, a drug that blocks opioid receptors in the brain for 30 days.

Sessions To Discuss Opioid Epidemic In Tampa

Feb 5, 2018
U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear Wednesday in Tampa to address drug trafficking and the opioid epidemic, the Justice Department said Monday. 

Florida lawmakers want more people to be able to report drug or alcohol overdoses without fear of retaliation. The effort comes after the high-profile death of a college student, and as the state’s opioid-related deaths continue to rise.

Bondi Weighs Legal Fight Against Opioid Makers, Distributors

Jan 19, 2018

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Thursday said Florida could soon pursue legal action against manufacturers and distributors of opioids.

A Jacksonville high school for teens in addiction-recovery wants to be able to serve more students and provide additional programming. The nonprofit school is asking the state for $700,000.


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.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune recently completed a four-part series — “One War. Two Races.” — about how laws dating back to the height of the crack epidemic continue to hurt black defendants, even as the drug epidemic shifts out of minority neighborhoods.

In April this year, Katie Herzog checked into a Boston teaching hospital for what turned out to be a nine-hour-long back surgery.

The 68-year-old consulting firm president left the hospital with a prescription for Dilaudid, an opioid used to treat severe pain, and instructions to take two pills every four hours as needed. Herzog took close to the full dose for about two weeks.

Opioid Crisis Taking Its Toll On Florida Children

Nov 8, 2017
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

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.

More than a week after President Donald Trump declared a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic; Florida lawmakers are considering implementing one of his federal recommendations on the state level.

Sunshine State leaders will decide whether to expand the use of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program during next year’s legislative session.

But one Jacksonville doctor says that measure is treating the wrong addiction crisis.


The City of Jacksonville is moving forward with plans to launch a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for their role in the city’s worsening opioid addiction crisis.

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.

WMFE

Patrick Kennedy has gone from lawmaker with an active addiction to mental health advocate.

Public health officials and others concerned about the nation's opioid crisis are hailing President Trump's decision to declare it a national emergency. A Presidential commission on opioids said in its interim report that an emergency declaration would allow the administration to take immediate action and send a message to Congress that more funding is needed.

Law enforcement has been cracking down on corruption in South Florida’s drug treatment industry. State and federal officials have arrested more than 30 people for running scams in rehab centers or sober homes in the past year.

But the facilities are often filled with recovering drug users from out-of-state. And when the homes shut down, the residents frequently wind up on the street.

It's always appealing to think that there could be an easy technical fix for a complicated and serious problem.

For example, wouldn't it be great to have a vaccine to prevent addiction?

"One of the things they're actually working on is a vaccine for addiction, which is an incredibly exciting prospect," said Dr. Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services.

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