Opioids

Can we end opioid epidemic by legalizing all drugs?

The 130 people who are estimated to die every day from an opioid-related drug overdose serve as a stark reminder that the nation is gripped by an opioid epidemic. In fact, the federal Health and Human Services last year declared it a national public health emergency. To combat the opioid epidemic...

Monday, September 24, 2018 - 3:39pm

Opiates, opioids, heroin — what’s the difference?

It’s sadly become a daily headline in the United States; the leading cause of death in the country for people under the age of 50 is a drug overdose. In fact, more than 64,000 Americans died in 2016 due to an overdose (compared with roughly 40,000 in car accidents). And the problem isn’...

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 11:45am

Mass. leads nation in reducing number of opioid prescriptions: Report

The opioid epidemic in Massachusetts has been one of the worst in the country. In 2016, the rate of opioid overdose deaths here was 29.7 per 100,000 residents, compared to the national rate of 13.3. Hopefully, though, there is relief on the way. Doctors in Massachusetts are leading the country in...

Monday, July 16, 2018 - 2:31pm

Texas law enforcement worried that they're being targeted with Fentanyl laced flyers

Fentanyl, a powerful opioid known for being 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin is being blamed for putting a Texas police officer in the hospital. According to KPRC, a Harris County sergeant felt "light headed" and had to be hospitalized after touching a flyer put on her windshield. The...

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 4:41pm

Boston taps law firm to sue pharma companies over opioid epidemic

The city of Boston has retained a law firm to sue pharmaceutical companies to recover damages from the opioid epidemic, Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Tuesday. Boston has tapped Motley Rice LLC for the litigation against opioid manufacturers, distributors and dispensaries. Walsh announced that he...

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 2:44pm

Opioid users will qualify for medical marijuana, New York health dept announces

Those who use opioids will qualify for medical marijuana under an amendment developed by the New York State Department of Health. Patients can be eligible for medical marijuana use in New York state if they have been diagnosed with certain debilitating or life-threatening conditions. Currently,...

Monday, June 18, 2018 - 4:23pm

AG Healey sues opioid maker Purdue Pharma, calling out execs' role in epidemic

Attorney General Maura Healey is suing Purdue Pharma, alleging that the company, which makes opioids like OxyContin, misled consumers about the drug’s addiction and health risks in order to get more people to take these drugs and to thus increase its profits. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 3:54pm

Most Massachusetts 2017 opioid deaths occurred in Boston: Report

There have been at least 201 confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts in the first three months of 2018, according to a new quarterly report from the state health department. That’s an estimated 5 percent decline compared to the first three months of 2017, according to the...

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 12:29pm

Walmart opioid policy to limit people to seven-day supply

One mega-retailer announced a new plan to curb opioid abuse by limiting the amount dispensed to customers each week. The new Walmart opioid policy limits those with prescriptions to just seven days worth of pills at a time. "Walmart and Sam’s Club will restrict initial acute opioid...

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 4:50pm

NYC will open safe injection sites: Mayor

New York City will open overdose prevention centers, also referred to as safe injection sites, in an effort to reduce deaths as the opioid epidemic continues, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced. “The opioid epidemic has killed more people in our city than car crashes and homicides combined,...

Friday, May 4, 2018 - 11:54am

AG calls for substance abuse prevention education in all Mass. schools

As the opioid epidemic rages on, Attorney General Maura Healey is calling for substance abuse prevention education in all Massachusetts public schools. This week, Healey announced on Wednesday, she’ll tour middle schools across the commonwealth that have implemented Project Here, a public-...

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - 11:53am

HealingNYC gets $22M expansion to continue fight against opioid epidemic

Mayor Bill de Blasio and first lady Chirlane McCray announced a $22 million investment in New York City’s HealingNYC program to continue the city’s fight against the opioid epidemic. The de Blasio administration launched HealingNYC in March 2016. Originally a $38 million initiative,...

Monday, March 19, 2018 - 1:46pm

Mass. authorities seize 30 pounds of fentanyl from drug traffickers

State and local authorities have seized 77 pounds of narcotics — including heroin, cocaine and more than 30 pounds of the deadly opiate fentanyl — as the result of a six-month long investigation, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office. The...

Friday, February 9, 2018 - 9:59am

NYC sues opioid makers, distributors for role in drug epidemic

Mayor Bill de Blasio and first lady Chirlane McCray announced on Tuesday that New York City has filed a lawsuit to hold drug companies accountable for their part in the opioid epidemic. The lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, names manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids...

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 12:49pm

Walsh exploring legal action against pharmaceutical companies for opioid crisis

Mayor Marty Walsh is considering suing pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid epidemic. Drug companies “irresponsibly saturated the market with opiates, knowingly putting consumers at risk for addiction,” Walsh’s office said in a statement. In Boston alone, there...

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 10:15am

Baker offers new ways to tackle opioid epidemic

Less than two years after signing an opioid abuse prevention bill, Gov Charlie Baker returned Tuesday with a multi-pronged proposal to further ramp up the fight against opioid addiction, including legislation that revives the concept of holding addicts involuntarily for treatment for up to 72 hours...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 9:50am

Trump's opioid-emergency declaration frees up 2 cents in funding per addict

President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency on Thursday but requested no additional funding for it, freeing up only two cents in funding for each person affected. Trump's declaration will allow the White House to tap into the Public Health Emergency Fund to address...

Friday, October 27, 2017 - 4:57pm

Opioid maker tried to influence federal policy to combat opioids: Report

The manufacturer of OxyContin, a painkiller at the heart of the opioid epidemic, advised a Trump administration commission on how to fight the opioid epidemic, a problem the company largely created, Vice News reports. An executive of Purdue Pharma, the drug's maker, sent the commission a five-...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 5:18pm