opioids

The sponsor of the Florida Senate's bill to combat the state's opioid crisis says it remains a work in progress even after passing its final committee.

Foster Homes Overwhelmed By Opioid Epidemic

Feb 16, 2018

Florida foster care providers are struggling to keep up with the number of children entering the system as a result of opioid-related deaths. 

The city of Sarasota is planning to file a lawsuit against a number of major pharmaceutical companies to recover damages from the opioid crisis. City Commissioners have voted to retain two attorneys to file the lawsuit. 

The maker of OxyContin, one of the most prescribed and aggressively marketed opioid painkillers, will no longer tout the drug or any other opioids to doctors.

The announcement, made Saturday, came as drugmaker Purdue Pharma faces lawsuits for deceptive marketing brought by cities and counties across the U.S., including several in Maine. The company said it's cutting its U.S. sales force by more than half.

Marle Brannon / Flickr

Two men in two separate cases will face federal prison sentences after they supplied synthetic opioids to people who later died.

Needle Exchange Program Passes Committee

Jan 25, 2018

New legislation expanding a needle-exchange program moved through both the Florida House and Senate today. 

House Looking To Earmark $50 Million For Opioid Battle

Jan 24, 2018

The Florida House wants to target $50 million toward opioid treatment and prevention in the upcoming year and spend about $1 million on a statewide prescription-drug database, the top House health-care budget writer said Tuesday.

Senate Panel Looks To 'Stem The Tide Of Addicts’

Jan 17, 2018

Doctors would be limited to ordering a maximum of seven days’ worth of potentially addictive medications for patients with acute pain and would have to consult a statewide database before writing the prescriptions, under a sweeping measure approved Tuesday by a key Senate committee.

The Florida Legislature didn’t waste a moment during its first week when it came to addressing the opioid addiction crisis that is exploding across the state.

Accidental deaths in the United States rose significantly in 2016, becoming the third-leading cause of fatalities for the first time in more than a century – a trend fueled by the steep rise in opioid overdoses, the National Safety Council reports.

Accidents — defined by the council as unintentional, preventable injuries — claimed a record 161,374 lives in 2016, a 10 percent increase over 2015. They include motor vehicle crashes, falls, drowning, choking and poisoning, a category that encompasses accidental overdoses.

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Attorney General Pam Bondi wants new laws to protect people who report sexual misconduct; Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam wants to make sure the state is prepared for a higher-than-normal risk for wildfires; and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis wants to expand worker compensation benefits for first responders so that it includes coverage for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Health officials in Lee County are calling attention to an alarming increase in opioid overdoses and deaths.

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.

Children Collateral Damage In Opioid Epidemic

Jan 3, 2018

Ciara sobs as she recounts how, as a middle schooler, she helplessly witnessed her mother's downward spiral into drug addiction, an affliction that left Ciara at times wishing her mother would simply die to end their suffering.

If you run a business in Florida, you have the right to maintain a drug-free workplace. But does that apply to drugs prescribed by a doctor — like medical marijuana and opioid painkillers?

For years, doctors have asked people about tobacco use and excessive drinking in the hopes that the answers could help lead people to cut down or quit.

But screening alone isn't usually sufficient to change behavior.

As opioid use hits record highs in the U.S., Christiana Care Health System in Delaware is starting to ask people about opioid use — and then go further.

In November 2016, Christiana Care staff started asking patients during routine visits and in the emergency room questions like these:

Report Shows 'Staggering' Drug Deaths In Florida

Nov 16, 2017
Marle Brannon / Flickr

A highly anticipated report from Florida's medical examiners shows dramatic increases in all types of drug-related deaths, including a 97 percent increase in deaths caused by the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Opioid Crisis Taking Its Toll On Florida Children

Nov 8, 2017

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.

Did Obamacare exacerbate the opioid crisis in America? And is expanding the child tax credit the only way the middle class will get a break from the GOP's proposed tax plan? We tackle those claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

A federal Food and Drug Administration advisory committee Wednesday recommended approval of a new injectable treatment for opioid addiction.

One Jacksonville addiction specialist participated in the drug trial that the panel examined data from.


Marle Brannon / Flickr

An autopsy has confirmed that a 10-year-old Florida boy is among the state's youngest victims of the opioid crisis.

President Donald Trump's long-awaited declaration that the opioid epidemic is a national emergency finally arrives this week, but some advocates are worried that it won't be backed with the money and commitment to make much difference.

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s response to the state’s opioid crisis is taking shape in the House.

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., has withdrawn his name from consideration as America's drug czar, President Trump said Tuesday. Marino is stepping back days after reports that legislation he sponsored hindered the Drug Enforcement Administration in its fight against the U.S. opioid crisis.

$50 Million Sought To Tackle Opioid Epidemic

Oct 13, 2017

Skyrocketing numbers of overdoses. Burned-out first responders. Families torn apart.

Florida’s law enforcement, emergency and mental health workers are struggling to cope with a rising tide of opioid overdoses.  Lawmakers are looking for solutions ahead of the coming year’s legislative session.

Pharmaceutical Industry Backs 7-Day Limit On Opioids

Sep 28, 2017

As Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders start to move forward with plans to address the state's opioid epidemic, a major pharmaceutical-industry group said Wednesday it would support a seven-day limit on initial prescriptions of pain medications.

The attorneys general of 41 U.S. states said Tuesday that they're banding together to investigate the makers and distributors of powerful opioid painkillers that have, over the past decade, led to a spike in opiate addictions and overdose deaths.

An intriguing new theory is gaining traction among conservative foes of the Obama-era health law: Its Medicaid expansion to low-income adults may be fueling the opioid epidemic.

Peter Haden / WLRN

The Reflections treatment center looked like just the place for Michelle Holley's youngest daughter to kick heroin. Instead, as with dozens of other Florida substance abuse treatment facilities, the owner was more interested in defrauding insurance companies by keeping addicts hooked, her family says.

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