opioid crisis

The law that took effect July 1 limits prescriptions of opioids for acute pain to three days, although a seven day supply can be prescribed under certain conditions. 

Peter Haden / WLRN News

Ten years ago, before the financial crisis hit the state, there were 579 publicly funded beds for substance abuse treatment in Palm Beach County. Today there are around 179, and in the coming days that number will go down even further, according to Alton Taylor, the executive director of the Drug Abuse Foundation in Delray Beach, the county's largest provider of publicly funded substance abuse treatment beds.

The past two years have been a time of reckoning for pharmaceutical manufacturers over their role in promoting opioid drugs that have fed a national epidemic.

The fact that rural, economically disadvantaged parts of the country broke heavily for the Republican candidate in the 2016 election is well known. But Medicare data indicate that voters in areas that went for Trump weren't just hurting economically — many of them were receiving prescriptions for opioid painkillers.

For most of her childhood, growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania, Kelly Zimmerman felt alone and anxious.

She despaired when her mother was depressed or working late shifts; when her parents fought nonstop; when her friends wanted to come over, and she felt too ashamed to let them see her home's buckling floor, the lack of running water.

Kelly tried to shut out those feelings, and when she was 18, a boyfriend offered her an opioid painkiller — Percocet.

Her anxiety dissolved, at least for a little while.

More than 115 Americans are dying every day from an opioid overdose. But a study out Monday finds that just three in 10 patients revived by an EMT or in an emergency room received the follow-up medication known to avoid another life-threatening event.

U.S. regulators have approved the first generic version of an under-the-tongue film for treating opioid addiction.

People with addiction to opioids and their support network can get instant, anonymous help in seeking treatment. 

Physical Therapists Look To Expand Role

May 30, 2018

With the opioid crisis as a backdrop, Florida physical therapists are promoting their services with a new website and statewide educational campaign in hopes of expanding their footprint in the health-care marketplace.

Attorney General Hopefuls Disagree On Opioid Lawsuit Timing

May 22, 2018

Attorney General Pam Bondi is drawing praise from Republicans seeking to replace her after the term-limited state Cabinet member last week took on opioid manufacturers in court.

Florida is suing drug companies that have steered more than $1 million to politicians over the last 20 years.

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.

Walmart announced Monday it is introducing new restrictions on how it will fill opioid medication prescriptions in all of its in-store and Sam's Club pharmacies.

A few months ago, Kourtnaye Sturgeon helped save someone's life. She was driving in downtown Indianapolis when she saw people gathered around a car on the side of the road. Sturgeon pulled over and a man told her there was nothing she could do: Two men had overdosed on opioids and appeared to be dead.

"I kind of recall saying, 'No man, I've got Narcan,' " she says, referring to the brand- name version of the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone. "Which sounds so silly, but I'm pretty sure that's what came out."

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