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Articles Tagged with opioids

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for headache-1540220_1920.jpgPatients undergoing major surgery or those dealing with chronic pain are often prescribed opioid medications. These opioids have given rise to a crisis of massive proportions. Opioid addiction and overdose deaths are increasing dramatically. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of all fatal opioid overdoses involve a prescription. Furthermore, for every one of these opioid overdose death, experts estimate nearly 130 people abuse or have a dependency on these drugs.

In Illinois, opioid use is rampant. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) data, there were 1,826 opioid-related deaths in the state in 2016. This represents an increase of over 70 percent from the number of opioid-related deaths reported in 2013 and a 32.1 percent increase over the 1,382 opioid-related deaths reported by IDPH in 2015.

Once people begin taking opioids, many of them become hooked on these highly addictive drugs. Often it is the result of patients obtaining prescriptions from “pill mills”, where doctors perfunctorily write opioid prescriptions without first examining the patient.

It sometimes seems these days as if taking an herbal supplement is akin to gambling…you never know what you are going to get.

Just last week, the FDA issued its first mandatory recall of kratom products after Triangle Pharmaceuticals refused to comply with a March 30th agency request for a voluntary recall. That earlier action came after 87 people in 35 states became sick with salmonella after ingesting kratom supplements. Of those 87 people, 27 were sick enough to require hospitalization. Multiple companies that market kratom products conducted recalls, but Triangle Pharmaceuticals, despite having samples of their kratom products test positive for salmonella, refused to cooperate, forcing the FDA to issue the mandatory recall.

The recalled products include supplements such as Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Emerald Green, Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Ivory White, and Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Ruby Red.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for medications-342462_1920.jpgThe Oklahoma Attorney General just charged Dr. Regan Nichols with second-degree murder in the deaths of 5 of her patients, for allegedly prescribing them too many painkillers and related drugs.

The specific allegations against Dr. Nichols are shocking. They include that she prescribed:

  • 3 million doses of controlled dangerous drugs from 2010 to 2014

Thumbnail image for headache-1540220_1920.jpgAmerica has a pain killer problem. And it’s killing us.

The just-released statistics are truly shocking: in 2015, while more than 52,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, two-thirds of those deaths were attributable to opioids like Percocet, OxyContin, heroin, and fentanyl.

We are losing tens of thousands of Americans a year to opioid overdose, which is more than die from gun homicides or car crashes. We are losing more Americans to overdose from “legal” than from illegal drugs.

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