Tag: painkillers

A grim tally soars: More than 50,000 overdose deaths in US

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 50,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, the most ever. The disastrous tally has been pushed to new heights by soaring abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers, a class of drugs known as opioids. Heroin deaths rose 23 percent in one year, to 12,989, slightly higher than the number of gun homicides, according to government data released Thursday. Deaths from synthetic opioids, including illicit fentanyl, rose 73 percent to 9,580. And prescription painkillers took the highest toll, but posted the smallest increase. Abuse of drugs like Oxycontin and Vicodin killed 17,536, an...

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‘Deaths of despair’ drag life expectancy lower for whites

NEW YORK (AP) — Rising drug and alcohol overdoses, suicides, and disease from chronic alcoholism — labeled “deaths of despair” by one expert — are cutting the lives of white Americans short by nearly a half a year on average. Increases in these types of deaths among whites means that life expectancy for whites is not increasing as fast as it is for other groups, according to a government report that offers an unusual look at how different threats are affecting U.S. lifespans. “Things are moving in the wrong direction,” said Anne Case, a Princeton University researcher, of what...

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Prince’s autopsy, toxicology tests may resolve uncertainties

(AP) Prince’s autopsy, particularly the toxicology report, may clarify whether prescription painkillers played any part in his death. Determining whether the music superstar died of a drug overdose will likely involve not only tests of his blood, urine, liver tissue and fluid from the eyes, it also will require compiling evidence from Prince’s medicine cabinet, his medical history and possibly information from witnesses and those who knew him. Authorities haven’t said when results of the April 22 autopsy will be released, only that it would take weeks. ___ WHAT’S ALREADY KNOWN? Questions about Prince’s health surfaced April 15, when...

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FDA reconsiders training requirements for painkillers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is reconsidering whether doctors who prescribe painkillers like OxyContin should be required to take safety training courses, according to federal documents. The review comes as regulators disclosed that the number of doctors who completed voluntary training programs is less than half that targeted by the agency. A panel of FDA advisers meets next week to review risk-management plans put in place nearly four years ago to reduce misuse and abuse of long-acting painkillers, powerful opioid drugs at the center of a national wave of abuse and death. Under the current risk-management...

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Obama to address nation’s growing opioid problem

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks during the awards dinner for Syracuse University’s Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting at Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, in Washington, Monday, March 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration will issue a proposed rule Tuesday that aims to increase medication-based treatment for tens of thousands of people addicted to opioids. The proposed rule, along with a commitment from 60 medical schools to heighten training for prescribing opioids, will coincide with President Barack Obama’s visit to Atlanta where he will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Dr....

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