drug overdose

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

The family that owns Purdue Pharma, maker of Oxycontin, has agreed to give up "the entire value" of the privately owned firm to settle claims that Purdue played a central role in the nation's deadly opioid epidemic.

That's according to a spokesperson for the firm, who detailed the Sackler family's offer in an email sent to NPR on Monday.

"Additionally, the Sacklers have offered $3 billion in cash as part of the global resolution," wrote Josephine Martin, Purdue Pharma's head of corporate affairs and communications.

U.S. Customs and Border Protections / Flickr

Wednesday, the White House announced the federal government will be cracking down on international fentanyl trafficking. Fentanyl is a pain reliever used for treating severe pain, but in recent years the addictive drug has been used recreationally - causing more than 28,000 deaths in 2017. That’s more than half the deaths caused by opioids overall that year. Making it the biggest contributor to the opioid overdose. 

Duval County has the highest per capita heroin and fentanyl related death rate of any county in Florida, but an opioid program is curbing the epidemic by coordinating service for patients.

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A St. Augustine grandmother is charged with manslaughter after authorities say she accidentally gave her grandson a fatal dose of methadone.

Needle Exchanges Find New Champions Among Republicans

May 9, 2019
Different gauges of needles on a board
Sammy Mack / WLRN

Once repellent to conservative politicians, needle exchanges are now being endorsed and legalized in Republican-controlled states.

At least four legislatures have considered bills to allow hypodermic needle exchanges, and two states, Georgia and Idaho, made them legal this year. In each of these states, the House and Senate are controlled by Republicans and the governor is a Republican.

Opioid Alternative Education Bill Ready For Governor

May 1, 2019
Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

The Florida Department of Health will be required to develop and distribute an educational pamphlet regarding the use of non-opioid alternatives to treat pain, under a bill that received final approval from the Florida Legislature on Tuesday. 

Amelia and her roommate had been awake for two days straight. They decided to spray-paint the bathroom hot pink. After that, they laid into building and rebuilding the pens for the nine pit bull puppies they were raising in their two-bedroom apartment.

Then the itching started. It felt like pinpricks under the skin of her hands. Amelia was convinced she had scabies, skin lice. She spent hours in front of the mirror checking her skin and picking at her face. She even got a health team to come test the apartment. All they found were a few dust mites.

University of Washington Health

A police dog working at a Florida port was given medication used to reverse an overdose after he suffered a reaction from sniffing drugs on a passenger.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida had the 17th highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation in 2017, a 17 percent increase from the previous year.

Updated at 4:37 p.m. ET

The American opioid crisis is far from over, but early data indicate the number of deaths are beginning to level off, according to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, citing "encouraging" results in overdose trends.

In a speech on Tuesday at a Milken Institute health summit, Azar walked through statistics suggesting deaths were plateauing and he highlighted efforts he says may be turning the tide in the drug epidemic.

For the first time in Hillsborough County, a drug dealer will face murder charges after deputies said a man overdosed on an opioid that was sold to him.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

After being delayed twice a proposal restricting physician prescribing powers for opioids is once again moving in the senate. It’s part of a wide-ranging proposal to address overdose deaths, which have jumped in Florida and across the nation in recent years.

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.

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.

Drug overdose deaths are going up in Broward County.

Deaths from opioid overdoses topped 520 in 2016, according to the county Medical Examiner's Office. That’s about 10 a week.

Cocaine overdose deaths were up more than 60 percent in Broward in 2016 — to 230 people.

It’s part of an overall trend that’s wreaking havoc around the country: poly-substance abuse.

“There are no normal drugs anymore,” said Broward County Medical Examiner Dr. Craig Mallak. “Everything’s a combination.”

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.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency

Accidental opioid overdoses by first responders are an alarming phenomenon.

Gov. Rick Scott has declared a public health emergency across Florida for the opioid epidemic.

A Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department transport unit is often the first stop for who somebody who's overdosed.  

“They are going to be extremely cyanotic due to the lack of breathing,”said Jacksonville Rescue Division Chief David Castleman in response to what he's encountered treating overdoses. "They’re going to be blue. Unresponsive completely."

As more addicts on the First Coast are turning to heroin for their highs, overdoses have skyrocketed.

 


Courtney Griffin was addicted to heroin and ready to get help. She packed up her things, and her mom drove her to a residential treatment facility about an hour from their home in New Hampshire. There was a bed waiting for her.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Manatee County, on Florida's west coast, is home to more than 300,000 people.  It's known for its beaches, and if you go just a short distance inland, you'll pass by the iconic fruit stands and working citrus groves.

Consumer Product Safety Commission

New research suggests parents are doing a better job of keeping household medicines out of the hands of young children.

Emergency room visits by children who swallowed medicine while unsupervised have declined substantially, reversing an earlier trend, the study found. By contrast, ER visits for bad reactions from medicines meant for kids and given by parents increased during the same time.

Here are five things to know about the study, published Monday in Pediatrics:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Experimental Drug Bill Awaits Scott Action

Jun 1, 2015
University of Washington Health

The Florida House this week sent a bill (HB 269) to Gov. Rick Scott that would allow terminally ill patients to have access to experimental drugs.

The bill, filed by Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, drew significant discussion during this year's regular legislative session, with Pilon and other supporters saying it could help people with diseases such as cancer.

The bill focuses on drugs that have been through what is known as "phase 1" of a clinical trial but have not been approved for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Lawmakers Look to Drug Antagonist To Halt Overdoses

Mar 9, 2015
MGN Online

  House and Senate committees this week backed proposals aimed at helping stop potential drug overdoses.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

A federal indictment blames Dr. Edward Neil Feldman for three prescription drug-related deaths, but medical examiners records link to him to more than a dozen drug overdose deaths, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Three administrative complaints alleging Feldman of malpractice are pending with the Florida Board of Medicine.

After CBS4 News reported last month that a veteran died from a cocaine overdose while at the Miami VA’s drug rehab center, a criminal investigator for the VA police department in Miami has come forward with more details about drug dealing that he says happened every day on hospital grounds. Detective Thomas Fiore tells the Miami TV station that marijuana, cocaine, and heroin were for sale at the Miami VA.

The state of Florida has the 11th highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country, the Orlando Sentinel reports, at 16.4 deaths per 100,000. The national report from Trust For America’s Health said most of the overdoses were from prescription drugs, and noted Florida has put in place several strategies that are helping reduce the number of deaths from overdosing on prescription pills.