Opioids

A few years ago, Renea Molden's doctors told her they wanted to take her off her opioid pills.

"I was mad, I'll be honest. I was mad. I was frustrated," she says.

Molden, of Kansas City, Mo., is 40 and struggles with chronic pain because of fibromyalgia, bulging disks and degenerative disk disease. Her doctors told her they worried about the possibility of her taking hydrocodone for the rest of her life. She told them those three pills she took every day seemed to be the only way she could make it through work, going shopping or even fixing dinner.

An average of fourteen people die every day from opioid related abuse. That’s according to Stuart Republican Representative Gayle Harrell.

She’s glad to see a measure moving through the legislature that aims to curb opioid abuse. The House version ensures doctors and pharmacies use the PDMP or Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database before prescribing or dispensing an opioid. It also allows Florida to share its information across state lines to help cut down on so called doctor shopping. Rep. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) says another provision limits the number of pills a doctor can prescribe.

Updated on March 2 at 10:47 a.m. ET

The White House convened a summit on the opioid epidemic Thursday, where first lady Melania Trump said she is proud of the what the administration has already accomplished on the issue, but that "we all know there is much work still to be done."

Although he had not been expected to participate, President Trump briefly joined the event.

Drugmakers gave millions of dollars to pain-treatment advocacy groups over a five-year period beginning in 2012, in effect promoting opioids to individuals most vulnerable to addiction, according to a new report released Monday by a U.S. senator.

David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

After three decades, the United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse is changing its name to reflect a more holistic view of its mission.

At a 30th anniversary celebration in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, the group announced it is rebranding itself as the United Way Commission on Behavioral Health & Drug Prevention.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Tampa Wednesday talking about efforts to combat the nation's opioid crisis.

House Panel Targets 'Sober Homes'

Feb 7, 2018

Florida would require additional background screening for operators of controversial recovery residences known as “sober homes,” under a bill that cleared a House panel Tuesday.

Two men in two separate cases will face federal prison sentences after they supplied synthetic opioids to people who later died.

House Looking To Earmark $50 Million For Opioid Battle

Jan 24, 2018

The Florida House wants to target $50 million toward opioid treatment and prevention in the upcoming year and spend about $1 million on a statewide prescription-drug database, the top House health-care budget writer said Tuesday.

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.

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.

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