opioid addiction

Faced with a flood of addicted inmates and challenged by lawsuits, America's county jails are struggling to adjust to an opioid health crisis that has turned many of the jails into their area's largest drug treatment centers.

In an effort to get a handle on the problem, more jails are adding some form of medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, to help inmates safely detox from opioids and stay clean behind bars and after release.

A major pharmaceutical distribution company and two of its former executives are facing criminal charges for their roles in advancing the nation's opioid crisis and profiting from it.

Prescription drugs on a shelf
Daylina Miller/WUSF

In a move aimed at helping hospice providers, a Senate committee Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that would create an exemption to a requirement that physicians check a statewide database before ordering opioids for patients.

After months of threats, federal prosecutors in Philadelphia launched a legal challenge on Wednesday against the nonprofit Safehouse, which is hoping to open what could be the nation's first site where people with opioid addiction can use drugs under medical supervision.

Analysis: 'Obamacare' Shapes Opioid Grant Spending

Oct 22, 2018
Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

With Republicans and Democrats joining forces again in a bipartisan effort to target the U.S. opioid crisis, an Associated Press analysis of the first wave of emergency money from Congress finds that states are taking very different approaches to spending it.

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Senator Bill Nelson called renewed efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act quote “irresponsible.” Nelson was speaking at an addiction treatment center in Orlando today.

Peter Haden/WLRN

Hillsborough commissioners on Wednesday voted to spend $13.7 million dollars over the next year to combat opioid addiction.

Florida’s foster kid population is growing at an alarming rate. That’s part of what will be discussed during an upcoming webinar.

Last year the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department responded to more than 3,700 overdose calls. About 2,400 of the calls happened between January and August, which is about a 70 percent increase from that span in 2015.

Cristina Rivell has been struggling with an opioid addiction since she was a teenager — going in and out of rehab for five years. The most recent time, her doctor prescribed her a low dose of buprenorphine (often known by its brand name, Suboxone), a drug that helps curb cravings for stronger opioids and prevents the symptoms of withdrawal.

Hillsborough County is filing a lawsuit against drug companies that contributed to the opioid addiction crisis.

Prescription drugs on a shelf
Daylina Miller/WUSF

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. 

Prescription drugs on a shelf
Daylina Miller/WUSF

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.

Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
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.


Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
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.

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