Tag Archive: Prescription Drug Violations

Nation’s first opioid court opens, goal is keeping users alive

The ordinary drug treatment courts aren’t up to dealing with the opioid addiction crisis. Officials in Buffalo, New York, which has just opened the nation’s first opioid treatment court, say that more drastic measures are needed if the intervention is to be successful at its most basic level: keeping the defendant alive. Most drug courts emerged in the 1980s and early 1990s in response to crack cocaine. The idea is to provide what’s really needed — drug treatment — to people who aren’t career criminals but got involved in drugs. Defendants may be first-time arrestees for drug possession, or they may have been charged for crimes they committed as a result of their drug addiction. Those charges are dropped if... Read More »

Opioid treatment is available, but even the insured aren’t getting it

The co-author of a new study in JAMA Pediatrics has a message for parents. "If you have a child struggling with opioid addiction, understand that there are medications that support and sustain recovery." That seems straightforward, but the study found that many people may not realize there are effective treatments available for addiction to opioid medications like OxyContin, Vicodin and Xanax — even methadone, fentanyl and heroin. Unfortunately, it seems that most young addicts aren’t getting that treatment, even when they have good insurance. The study considered the medical records of almost 21,000 opioid addicts between the ages of 13 and 25 who were insured through UnitedHealthcare. Even during the period of 2001 and 2014 when opioid addiction was skyrocketing,... Read More »

Senators consider adding new mandatory minimums for fentanyl

The drugs fentanyl and carfentanil have been playing outsized roles in the opioid epidemic, which is already high-profile. Fentanyl is considered to be about 100 times more powerful than morphine, while carfentanil is perhaps 10,000 times more powerful. Yet even though carfentanil is meant to tranquilize large mammals like rhinos and hippopotamuses, the drug is sometimes mixed with heroin or other opiates used by addicts. These potent synthetic opioids pose a real risk to law enforcement, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He recently warned officers to avoid any exposure to the drugs, as people are overdosing in record numbers. He warns that America doesn’t have time to debate whether the opioid epidemic is a public health crisis or... Read More »

What defense might Tiger Woods have to his prescription drug DUI?

On Memorial Day, golf legend Tiger Woods was found sleeping in his car near his Jupiter home. Unfortunately for him, the person who discovered him was a police officer. Police dashcam video shows Woods’ car improperly parked, and field sobriety tests performed for the camera show the professional golfer confused and disoriented. He has been charged with DUI and improper parking. Nevertheless, he passed two Breathalyzer tests with flying colors and apparently passed a urine test, as well. He was not drunk. According to a statement by Woods, the events occurred due to "an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications" he was taking during rehab after back surgery. He says he didn’t realize the medication would affect him so strongly and... Read More »

CDC: Opioid abuse costs $78 billion a year. Treatment cuts that.

"The most important reason to support treatment is to improve the well-being and social function of people with addiction disorders," writes the co-director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab. But "the economic value of crime reduction largely or totally offsets the costs of treatment." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cost to the public sector of prescription opioid abuse, addiction and overdose response, combined with the cost of the related crime, is $23 billion a year. The cost to the private sector in terms of healthcare expenses and lost job productivity is another $55 billion. The total yearly economic burden of substance abuse is somewhere in the hundreds of billions. Those costs are skyrocketing. Around... Read More »