There were more than 70,000 deaths last year, although the mortality level may have reached its peak. “If you look at the other wealthy countries of the world, they’re not seeing the same thing,” says a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expert.
A court hears arguments on Thursday on whether 13 class-action lawsuits involving babies born addicted to opioids should be separated from a massive Cleveland-based case seeking damages against drug makers.
As lawmakers near approval of a marijuana legalization bill, they are weighing a companion measure that would clear the criminal records of many people with drug offenses. Ten other states have decriminalized recreational marijuana, but none has addressed historic inequities in drug sentencing in tandem with legalization.
The nation seems to be emerging from the “long tunnel” of the opioid crisis, but substituting medical marijuana as an alternative form of care may land us in a “fog of extensive, additional public health repercussions,” warn Arizona researchers.
The Ohio city could be at the leading edge of a waning phase of an epidemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. over the last decade, Medicaid funding for treatment gets much of the credit.
Some 95 percent of the overdose deaths in the St. Louis area involve synthetic fentanyl. In Madison County, IL., which has surpassed its previous record of opioid deaths, one coroner said, “When we go to a death scene and you still see the needle in the arm, we know it was fentanyl because it works that quick.”
As the number of states allowing recreational or medical use of marijuana grows, law enforcement is gearing up for the challenge of detecting drivers who may be a danger to themselves or others. But it’s impossible to set an accepted standard for measuring impairment, argues a TCR columnist.
In New Jersey, more than three-quarters of people with drug addictions go untreated. Overdose deaths in the state rose by 21 percent between January 2017 and January 2018, compared to just 7 percent nationally.