opioid crisis

Florida is suing drug companies that have steered more than $1 million to politicians over the last 20 years.

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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced Tuesday that the state has filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors, blaming the companies for creating the crisis which kills about 15 Floridians a day.

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As Florida continues to deal with an opioid crisis, state corrections officials are moving ahead on a plan to cut substance-abuse services to make up a shortfall in health-care funding for the prison system.

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The state’s invalidated process for licensing new methadone clinics is delaying help for opioid addicts in rural communities.

A Jacksonville City Council committee voted Monday in favor of expanding and extending an opioid intervention pilot program called “Project Save Lives” that previously had been scheduled to end soon.

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Facing a rising death toll from drug overdoses, state lawmakers across the country are testing a strategy to boost treatment for opioid addicts: Force drug manufacturers and their distributors to pay for it.

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A Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to life in prison for supplying synthetic opioids to a woman who died in Florida.

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Pointing to an arbitrary process that “ignores substance in favor of blind luck,” an administrative law judge Thursday rejected a state emergency rule drawn up to help license more methadone-treatment centers across Florida.

Pain management physicians had a role in creating the opioid crisis and some of those doctors are now working to solve the problem.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

The workers’ compensation system and the injured workers it serves are not immune from the nation’s opioid crisis, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance. 

Osceola Sues Drug Companies Over Opioid Epidemic

Apr 24, 2018
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Osceola County is going after pharmaceutical companies. The county filed a lawsuit against several drug companies.

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Florida will get another $27 million dollars this year from the federal government to combat the opioid crisis.

New data show that the number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers filled in the U.S. fell dramatically last year. They showed their biggest drop in 25 years.

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Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

In 2016, the city of Miami saw 641 opioid-related overdoses, a 20 percent increase from the year before. Now, attorneys for the city have filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County circuit court alleging that drug manufacturers violated Florida law by aggressively and deceptively marketing opioids as safe. 

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan announced an anti-drug plan Monday to address the growing opioid crisis. According to the Manatee County Republican, the bill will be introduced in the U.S. House later this week.

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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.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Members of the Florida Board of Pharmacy were told Monday that it shouldn’t take long to alter regulations for pharmacists to comply with a new law aimed at combating the opioid epidemic.

Board of Pharmacy counsel David Flynn told members of the board’s Legislative Committee that, given the board’s experience in past crackdowns on controlled substances, it shouldn’t take long for the Board of Pharmacy to revamp the regulations.

Staying Alive: How To Fight An Opioid Addiction

Apr 2, 2018
Caitlin Hillyard/KHN

Rule No. 1: Stay alive.

If you or a loved one wants to beat an opioid addiction, first make sure you have a handy supply of naloxone, a medication that can reverse an overdose and save your life.

“Friends and families need to keep naloxone with them,” says Dr. David Kan, an addiction medicine specialist in Walnut Creek who is president of the California Society of Addiction Medicine. “People using opioids should keep it with them, too.”

Our Take A Number series is looking at problems around the world — and people trying to solve them — through the lens of a single number.

In Huntington, W.Va., the number is 10. As in, the rate of babies born with a drug dependency there is 10 times the national average.

It's a number that shows the magnitude of the opioid crisis in this blue collar city. It's also one of the numbers that has prompted two very different people in this community to say, "Enough."

UCF Researchers Look At Opioid Abuse In Black Adults

Mar 30, 2018
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A new study out of the University of Central Florida finds opioid abuse equally affects whites and blacks even though it is often portrayed as a white, rural epidemic.

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In a refrigerator in the coroner’s office in Marion County, Ind., rows of vials await testing. They contain blood, urine and vitreous, the fluid collected from inside a human eye.

A pipe was the only sign of drug use found near Chris Bennett's body in November. But it looked like the 32-year-old Taunton, Mass., native had stopped breathing and died of an opioid overdose. Bennett's mother, Liisa, couldn't understand what happened. Then she saw the toxicology report.

"I'm convinced he was smoking cocaine that was laced," she says. "That's what he had in his system, [it] was cocaine and fentanyl."

Sheila Dhand treats a lot of people who might not step foot in a health clinic or hospital — until an emergency.

"People don't want to show just anybody their wound," Dhand says. "A lot of time when talking about wounds, we're talking about drug use. And those things are so taboo."

News Service of Florida

Two days after instructing federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty in drug-related cases, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions came to Tallahassee on Thursday to promote President Donald Trump’s plan to combat the deadly opioid epidemic.

Congress Tackles The Opioid Epidemic. But How Much Will It Help?

Mar 20, 2018

The nation’s opioid epidemic has been called today’s version of the 1980s AIDS crisis.

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President Trump outlined a wide-ranging plan to combat the opioid epidemic on Monday, including an ad campaign to discourage drug use, expand addiction treatment and pursue a get-tough approach to law enforcement.

"Whether you are a dealer or doctor or trafficker or a manufacturer, if you break the law and illegally peddle these deadly poisons, we will find you, we will arrest you, and we will hold you accountable," Trump told an audience in Manchester, N.H.

"Failure is not an option," he added. "Addiction is not our future."

Governor's Press Office

Saying it is critical to “stop the addiction in the beginning,” Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed a high-profile bill designed to prevent patients from getting hooked on powerful opioids.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is signing legislation to combat the state's opioid epidemic.

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