Opioids

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

The tall, gangly man twists a cone of paper in his hands as stories from nearly 30 years of addiction pour out: the robbery that landed him in prison at 17; never getting his GED; going through the horrors of detox, maybe 40 times, including this latest, which he finished two weeks ago. He's now in a residential unit for at least 30 days.

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."

To the untrained, the evidence looks promising for a new medical device to ease opioid withdrawal. A small study shows that people feel better when the device, an electronic nerve stimulator called the Bridge, is placed behind their ear.

The company that markets the Bridge is using the study results to promote its use to anyone who will listen: policymakers, criminal justice officials and health care providers.

The message is working.

New data show that the number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers filled in the U.S. fell dramatically last year. They showed their biggest drop in 25 years.

As opioid-related deaths have continued to climb, naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses, has become an important part of the public health response.

When people overdosing struggle to breathe, naloxone can restore normal breathing and save their lives. But the drug has to be given quickly.

On Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued an advisory that encouraged more people to routinely carry naloxone.

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.

Staying Alive: How To Fight An Opioid Addiction

Apr 2, 2018

Rule No. 1: Stay alive.

If you or a loved one wants to beat an opioid addiction, first make sure you have a handy supply of naloxone, a medication that can reverse an overdose and save your life.

“Friends and families need to keep naloxone with them,” says Dr. David Kan, an addiction medicine specialist in Walnut Creek who is president of the California Society of Addiction Medicine. “People using opioids should keep it with them, too.”

UCF Researchers Look At Opioid Abuse In Black Adults

Mar 30, 2018

A new study out of the University of Central Florida finds opioid abuse equally affects whites and blacks even though it is often portrayed as a white, rural epidemic.

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.

Saying it is critical to “stop the addiction in the beginning,” Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed a high-profile bill designed to prevent patients from getting hooked on powerful opioids.

Lawmakers Agree On Plan To Battle Opioids

Mar 12, 2018

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.

There's more bad news about the nation's devastating opioid epidemic.

In just one year, overdoses from opioids jumped by about 30 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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