fentanyl

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Drugs Are Killing So Many People in Ohio That Cold-Storage Trailers Are Being Used as Morgues

Kristine Phillips | The Washington Post | March 16, 2017

By about 3 p.m. Friday, a county morgue in east Ohio was already full — and more bodies were expected. Rick Walters, an investigator for the Stark County coroner's office, had just left for two death scenes: a suicide and an overdose. From the road, he called the director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency to ask for help. He needed more space, he explained — specifically, a cold-storage trailer to act as an overflow morgue...

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Inside Big Pharma's Fight to Block Recreational Marijuana

Alfonso Serrano | The Guardian | October 10, 2016

Marijuana legalization will unleash misery on Arizona, according to a wave of television ads that started rolling out across the state last month. Replete with ominous music, the advertisements feature lawmakers and teachers who paint a bleak future for Arizona’s children if voters approve Proposition 205, a measure that would allow people aged 21 and over to possess an ounce of pot and grow up to six plants for recreational use. “Colorado schools were promised millions in new revenues” when the state approved recreational pot use, says the voiceover in one ad. Instead, schoolchildren were plagued by “marijuana edibles that look like candy”...

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Opioid Epidemic Makes EHRs Essential to Public Health

When public health is threatened by an outbreak of SARS or Zika or avian influenza, widely disseminated information becomes a crucial tool used to curtail the spread of disease. But transmittable diseases are not the lone threats to public health. Other metaphorically pathogenic events—the current opioid epidemic, for example—are more effectively managed by making sure doctors have complete information when evaluating patients and, especially, writing prescriptions.

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Secret Document Trove Reveals Bold ‘Crusade’ to Make OxyContin a Blockbuster

David Armstrong | STAT | September 22, 2016

The doughnut ploy, highlighted in a trove of internal documents obtained by STAT, shows the lengths to which Abbott went to hook in doctors and make OxyContin a billion-dollar blockbuster. The sales force bought takeout dinners for doctors and met them at bookstores to pay for their purchases. In memos, the sales team referred to the marketing of the drug as a “crusade,” and their boss called himself the “King of Pain.”

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The First Count of Fentanyl Deaths in 2016: Up 540% in Three Years

Josh Katz | The New York Times | September 2, 2017

Drug overdoses killed roughly 64,000 people in the United States last year, according to the first governmental account of nationwide drug deaths to cover all of 2016. It’s a staggering rise of more than 22 percent over the 52,404 drug deaths recorded the previous year — and even higher than The New York Times’s estimate in June, which was based on earlier preliminary data. Drug overdoses are expected to remain the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, as synthetic opioids — primarily fentanyl and its analogues — continue to push the death count higher...

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