opioid epidemic

This week South Carolina decided to sue the maker OxyContin for deceptive marketing.

Widespread incidents of fraud have given the South Florida addiction treatment industry a black eye. Law enforcement has been cracking down — with strong support from the treatment industry’s legitimate providers.

For the third year in a row, the proposed Jacksonville city budget contains no money for updating or expanding the medical examiner’s office —that’s despite an increased workload and overcrowding from drug-overdose deaths.

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In Prince George's County, Md., every first responder carries naloxone, the drug that can reverse an opioid overdose.

"We carry it in our first-in bags," says Bryan Spies, the county's battalion chief in charge of emergency services. "So whenever we arrive at a patient's side, it's in the bag, along with things like glucose, aspirin and oxygen."

Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge is wrapping up his tenure as president of the National Association of Counties with a plea for more federal help to fight the opioid crisis.

States across the country are struggling to hold off a rising tide of opioid abuse and Florida is no exception.  But the return of harsh penalties for possession—a hallmark of the war on drugs—is frustrating a broad spectrum of advocates and officials.

Parts of the stalled Senate health care bill could hurt those addicted to opioids, according to U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor. The Tampa Democrat says if the bill passes, it will limit access to substance abuse treatment.


Jacksonville City Council will soon consider funding a six-month pilot program to help treat opioid addiction with nearly $1.5 million city dollars. Councilman Bill Gulliford is introducing the bill Tuesday.


The Food and Drug Administration requested Thursday that the drugmaker Endo Pharmaceuticals stop selling Opana ER — its extended-release version of Opana.

The FDA says the move marks the first time the agency has taken steps to remove an opioid from the market because of "public health consequences of abuse."

At a health care conference in Jacksonville Tuesday, Florida’s surgeon general said help is on the way for Duval and other counties dealing with the opioid crisis.

More than $27 million federal dollars will be used in the regions most affected by addiction and overdoses. Counties are expected to get the extra federal funds as soon as June.


State health officials stopped in Jacksonville Wednesday to hear about how opioid abuse is affecting Northeast Florida. It was their fourth stop on a state tour, set up by Governor Rick Scott.  

TALLAHASSEE — Facing pressure to address drug overdoses across the state, Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi rolled out plans Tuesday for a series of workshops and gave support for legislation focused on opioids and drug abuse.

Study: Medicare Beneficiaries May Face ‘Treatment Gap’ For Painkiller Abuse, Misuse

Jul 21, 2016
Getty Images

When most people think of the victims of the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic, they seldom picture members of the Medicare set.

Opioid Epidemic Fueling Hospitalizations, Hospital Costs

May 3, 2016
Associated Press

Every day, headlines detail the casualties of the nation’s surge in heroin and prescription painkiller abuse: the funerals, the broken families and the patients cycling in and out of treatment. Now, a new study sheds light on another repercussion — how this public health problem is adding to the nation’s ballooning health care costs and who’s shouldering that burden.