LISTEN LIVE

opioid abuse

The South Florida United States Attorney’s Office announced 124 charges against South Florida doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals on Thursday as part of what authorities are calling the largest nationwide takedown on health care fraud and those fueling the opioid crisis.

The House has overwhelmingly approved legislation designed to give health care providers more tools to stem an opioid crisis that is killing more than 115 people in the United States daily.

For most of her childhood, growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania, Kelly Zimmerman felt alone and anxious.

She despaired when her mother was depressed or working late shifts; when her parents fought nonstop; when her friends wanted to come over, and she felt too ashamed to let them see her home's buckling floor, the lack of running water.

Kelly tried to shut out those feelings, and when she was 18, a boyfriend offered her an opioid painkiller — Percocet.

Her anxiety dissolved, at least for a little while.

Congressional investigators say wholesale pharmaceutical distributors shipped hundreds of millions of prescription opioid pills to West Virginia, a state disproportionately ravaged by deaths caused by the addictive drugs. Now, lawmakers want executives of those companies to explain how that happened.

Miami Sues Drug Makers Over Opioid Epidemic

Apr 18, 2018

In 2016, the city of Miami saw 641 opioid-related overdoses, a 20 percent increase from the year before. Now, attorneys for the city have filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County circuit court alleging that drug manufacturers violated Florida law by aggressively and deceptively marketing opioids as safe. 

Office of Congressman Buchanan

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan announced an anti-drug plan Monday to address the growing opioid crisis. According to the Manatee County Republican, the bill will be introduced in the U.S. House later this week.

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.

Teresa Qin/Flikr

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.

Sessions Says No More ‘Business As Usual’ In Opioid Fight

Mar 23, 2018

Two days after instructing federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty in drug-related cases, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions came to Tallahassee on Thursday to promote President Donald Trump’s plan to combat the deadly opioid epidemic.

Broward County filed a new lawsuit in federal court Monday against manufacturers of opioid drugs.

Walmart, Walgreens, the McKesson Corp. and CVS Health are just some of the drug makers and distributors Broward County is suing.  

 

Others include Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal Health Inc., Health Mart Systems, Mallinckrodt, Amerisourcebergen Corp., as well as Endo Janssen, Purdue, Cephalon and Teva Pharmaceuticals. 

A program to give naloxone overdose-antidote kits and training to front-line officers. Funding for pill disposal boxes in pharmacies, clinics and police stations across North Carolina. A radio campaign in Connecticut warning of the dangers of opioid abuse. A new medicine to treat opioid-induced constipation.

A measure in the House tackles Florida’s opioid crisis by rethinking how to regulate prescription medication. If successful, lawmakers hope the new set of rules can curb opioid abuse.

Medicaid Program Limiting Opioid Prescriptions

Feb 21, 2018

As lawmakers consider proposals to limit opioid prescriptions, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration is taking steps to do the same in the Florida Medicaid program.

Florida lawmakers want more people to be able to report drug or alcohol overdoses without fear of retaliation. The effort comes after the high-profile death of a college student, and as the state’s opioid-related deaths continue to rise.

The nation-wide opioid epidemic is getting worse. According to Florida's Department of Law Enforcement, there were nearly 6,000 opioid-related deaths in our state in 2016--a 35 percent increase from 2015. While there is no single solution, Naples' David Lawrence Center is using a grant to use a different approach to combat the problem.

Florida House Looks To Spend $50 Million On 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.

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.

Children Collateral Damage In Opioid Epidemic

Jan 3, 2018

Ciara sobs as she recounts how, as a middle schooler, she helplessly witnessed her mother's downward spiral into drug addiction, an affliction that left Ciara at times wishing her mother would simply die to end their suffering.

Proposal Aimed At Helping Opioid-Addicted Infants

Dec 8, 2017

In hopes of reducing the costs of caring for opioid-addicted infants and increasing their comfort, a Senate health care panel on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that would lead to licensing niche social-service providers and allowing them to participate in the Medicaid program.

President Donald Trump has declared a nationwide public health emergency for the opioid crisis.  But the immediate impact in Florida will be minimal.

Substance abuse experts and law enforcement officers are calling on lawmakers to bolster access to treatment for people battling opioid addiction.  The biggest focus is on medication assisted treatments.

Sweeping Measure Addresses Prescription Pills

Oct 16, 2017

Doctors would be limited to prescribing seven days' worth of opioids for patients with acute pain and would have to check a statewide database before ordering most prescription pain medications, under a proposal filed Friday in the state House.

Florida House lawmakers are checking in on a 2016 measure meant to improve mental health and addiction treatment.

Florida’s law enforcement, emergency and mental health workers are struggling to cope with a rising tide of opioid overdoses.  Lawmakers are looking for solutions ahead of the coming year’s legislative session.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is promising to make the opioid crisis a top priority in the coming legislative session.

Pharmaceutical Industry Backs 7-Day Limit On Opioids

Sep 28, 2017

As Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders start to move forward with plans to address the state's opioid epidemic, a major pharmaceutical-industry group said Wednesday it would support a seven-day limit on initial prescriptions of pain medications.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday several proposals and $50 million in funding to help address Florida's looming opioid crisis.

Law enforcement officials are warning of a deadly new drug hitting South Florida streets called “grey death.”

More money is needed to stop overdose deaths, Manatee County leaders told state officials during an opioid workshop Tuesday.

House Approves Bill Cracking Down On Sober Homes

Apr 27, 2017

A crackdown on sober home corruption took a big step forward on Wednesday after House members unanimously voted to pass a bill strengthening the state's role in prosecuting criminal and regulatory violations.

Pages