opioid

C.M. Guerrero

Past the barricades, mounds of personal belongings mixed with trash and dirty mattresses where vagrants lay with needles still clutched by limp hands, Shatara Mackey walks with her 7-year-old son to Phillis Wheatley Elementary.

Northwest Second Avenue under the Dolphin/SR 836 overpass is a better route than the next block over, she says.

“It’s just got worse,” said Mackey, 31. “You can see them using and everything down there.”

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.

Most new laws approved during Florida's recent legislative session took effect Sunday with the start of the state's fiscal year.

The new statutes have an effect on Floridians of all ages, from bullying in schools to providing further protections against seniors.

Sammy Mack / WLRN

A Palm Beach Post investigation has uncovered Florida's role in igniting the country’s heroin epidemic in 2011.

 

The state’s repeated failure to control its own prescription drug problem would eventually lead to more addicts turning to heroin not only on Florida, but in other states around the country. 

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.

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.

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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.

 

The opioid epidemic has cost the U.S. more than a trillion dollars since 2001, according to a new study, and may exceed another $500 billion over the next three years.

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Two of Florida’s largest counties, Palm Beach and Broward, have started a process that could take opioid drug makers to court for their roles in the opioid crisis. 

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:

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.


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.

A Florida drug dealer has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for his customer's fatal overdose.

Court records show that 25-year-old Hugo Margenat-Castro was sentenced Thursday. He pleaded guilty in March to conspiring to distribute heroin and distributing fentanyl causing death.

Authorities say Margenat-Castro advertised selling heroin on social media, prompting potential customers to contact him through a website and arrange a meeting to purchase the opioid. At some point, the heroin began to be laced with fentanyl.

Peter Haden / WLRN

State legislators came to Palm Beach County Tuesday to discuss the opioid crisis.

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