opioid crisis

opioid crisis
Franieleon via Flickr / WLRN

The Fort Lauderdale City Commission is set to hold a special meeting Tuesday at noon at City Hall to discuss legal options on how to deal with the ongoing opioids crisis.

During the meeting, which is open to the public, five law firms will present their advice on how they think the city should legally handle the opioid crisis.

Discussion is expected to include hot topics ranging from overdoses to access to drugs, and what legal issues are at stake if the city enforces new ordinances going forward.

FHP Troopers To Get Drug To Combat Overdoses

Jan 18, 2018

The Florida Highway Patrol announced Wednesday it is issuing naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug commonly known by its brand name, Narcan, to state troopers.

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.

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.

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.

When people started to show up to Dr. William Cooke's primary care office in Austin, Ind., in 2014 with HIV, Cooke knew it was probably related to the region's opioid epidemic. But what he and the rest of the public health community didn't know was who they were missing or how long the HIV outbreak had been going on.

Life expectancy in the U.S. fell for the second year in a row in 2016, nudged down again by a surge in fatal opioid overdoses, federal officials report Thursday.

"I'm not prone to dramatic statements," says Robert Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the National Center for Health Statistics. "But I think we should be really alarmed. The drug overdose problem is a public health problem, and it needs to be addressed. We need to get a handle on it."

REUTERS

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. 

JESSE COSTA/WBUR

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

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.

Florida’s biggest health insurer announced Tuesday it is dropping coverage for OxyContin on Jan. 1, 2018 in an effort to help fight opioid abuse.

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.


The spread of OxyContin around the world

Oct 31, 2017
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George Frey/Reuters 

Sales of OxyContin are down in the US. 

Now that we're in the midst of an opioid epidemic, doctors aren't prescribing the painkiller — and others like it — as much as they once did.

But something else is happening, too.

The family that owns the company that manufactures OxyContin — the Sackler family — is looking increasingly outward, to other countries, to market their product.

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