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prescription drug abuse 25 articles

AL AG joins investigation into opioid marketing practices

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is teaming up with a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general across the country to investigate whether manufacturers of powerful prescription painkillers known as opioids have engaged in unlawful practices to push sales of the drugs. “Alabama has disproportionately suffered from prescription painkiller abuse and I have joined with a majority of my fellow Attorneys General to investigate what role opioid manufacturers have had in creating or prolonging the opioid abuse epidemic,” Attorney General Marshall said. Opioids are by far the most misused and abused prescription drugs in the country, fueling a national epidemic. Opioids killed ... Read More

Opioids send dozens in Georgia to hospital

Yellow pills reported to be the prescription opioid Percocet have sent dozens of people in central Georgia to the hospital for overdose in the past two days, 11 Alive reported. The pills were obtained illegally by those sickened. The ingredients in the pills have yet to be identified, but they are powerful enough to require massive amounts of the opioid antidote Narcan to counter the effects. Some patients have been placed on ventilators because they stopped breathing and were unresponsive, the Georgia Department of Public Health said. The overdoses were reported in cities such Centerville, Perry, Macon, and Warner Robins. ... Read More

Cornell had mix of drugs in system before suicide

Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell had a mixture of prescription medications in his system when he took his life last month, according to the Wayne County, Michigan, Medical Examiner who performed Cornell’s autopsy. Cornell committed suicide by hanging, though his wife, Vicky, blamed his medication, specifically the anti-anxiety drug Ativan. Ativan, which is primarily used as an anti-seizure drug, has been linked to psychological side effects such as paranoia and suicidal ideation. It can also impair memory, judgment and coordination. Chris was a recovering addict and had a prescription for Ativan. Vicky said that he told her the night he killed himself ... Read More

Study: persistent opioid use following surgery

Certain factors may help doctors identify which patients are more likely to become dependent on opioids following surgery, according to new research published in JAMA Surgery. The study, conducted by researchers with the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, involved data from more than 36,000 patients who had never taken opioids. The average age of patients was 45. Two thirds were women, three quarters were white, and all underwent surgery between 2013 and 2014. About 80 percent of patients underwent minor surgery such as varicose vein removal. The other 20 percent underwent a major surgical operation such as ... Read More

Small town mayor sues OxyContin maker over costs of addiction

The mayor of a small town north of Seattle, Washington, is taking the fight against prescription drug abuse to a new level. Mayor Ray Stephanson is suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the powerful opioid painkiller OxyContin, alleging the drugmaker knew its opioid was being sold on the black market in his town of Everett. Since Purdue allowed this illegal activity to continue, the drug company should pay for damages, he alleges. Stephanson says his working class community of 108,000 people has seen a spike in drug-related deaths and street crimes. As a result, Everett has had to step up police ... Read More

Pain specialists issue updated guidelines for opioid use in patients with chronic, non-cancer pain

The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP), a not-for-profit organization representing nearly 4,500 interventional pain management specialists, has issued updated guidelines for managing patients with chronic, non-cancer pain in an effort to help curb the growing prescription drug epidemic in the U.S. Powerful opioid painkillers are the most abused and misused prescription drug in the country. The guidelines, published in the journal Pain Physician, were drafted by experts representing a variety of medical fields in an effort to “provide a systematic and standardized approach to this complex and difficult arena of practice, while recognizing that every clinical situation is ... Read More

Alabama doctor faces prison time for pill mill operation distributing opioids

A Montgomery, Alabama, family doctor faces up to 40 years in prison for doling out prescription opioids painkillers like candy from his clinic and laundering the money to hide his illegal operation. “When a maverick doctor prescribes opioids to someone who isn’t entitled to them, and over prescribes, he’s committing a felony and he is as bad as the Mexican cartel,” U.S. Attorney George Beck said about Alabama doctor Robert Ritchea. Ritchea pleaded guilty earlier this week to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and money laundering. Court documents reveal that people showed up in droves, some traveling across state lines ... Read More

Investigation finds Alabama ranks No. 1 in prescription opioid use

More addictive opioids are prescribed by Alabama doctors than in any other state, and drug companies are fanning the flames hiring 1,800 lobbyists and spending $880 million on campaign contributions since 2006 to push policies to protect profits, according to a joint investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity. Comparatively, citizens groups fighting the war on prescription drug abuse spend about $4 million. Opioids – a drug class that includes heroin, morphine and Oxycontin – are the most abused prescription drugs in the country. Some states and municipalities have taken opioid manufacturers to court, accusing them of ... Read More

Bill takes aim at growing prescription and illegal drug abuse problem

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a comprehensive bill that would tackle the nation’s growing opioid drug abuse problem that includes programs to increase education about the dangers of heroin and prescription painkillers, provide more access to the opioid antidote naloxone, and give treatment for prisoners suffering from addiction. Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act that rolls a slew of anti-opioid bills passed earlier in the week into a single measure. The act will serve as a base for the Senate when negotiating a final version of the bill. “We’re facing a public health crisis that crosses ... Read More

FDA requires makers of generic opioids to develop abuse-deterrent versions

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is pressuring manufacturers of generic opioid painkillers to reformulate their meds to make them more difficult to tamper with and abuse, the latest step in the agency’s fight to curb the national prescription drug abuse epidemic. The draft guidance encourages generic drug makers to develop their pain medications with abuse-deterrent properties to help prevent certain types of abuse, such as crushing a tablet in order to snort, or dissolving a capsule in order to inject its contents. Abuse-deterrent formulations do not prevent abuse, addiction, overdose or death, the agency pointed out, but they could have ... Read More