Lessons Learned from Prince’s Drug Overdose Death

prince

As most people now know, the celebrated musician Prince died of a drug overdose in April, 2016, at his home in Minnesota. Conjectures and partially-accurate news stories swirled for days after his death as his fans and the general public tried to make sense of this loss. Early on, there were reports from those close to him that he had never used drugs but when the toxicology report was complete weeks later, we learned that he died from an overdose of fentanyl. In the next few months, more pieces of the puzzle became public, until finally, we had a sense…

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Hundreds Suffer Opioid Overdoses in One Devastating Week

If you’ve been watching the national news over the last couple of years, you may have noticed that the Northeast and Midwest have more problems with heroin and other opioids than other regions of the U.S. Where there is heroin, there are overdoses and the last few weeks have been heavily burdened with these life-threatening events. While it’s certainly possible to overdose on heroin, the situation has been aggravated by the addition of powerful prescription painkillers to the heroin supply. USA Today compiled a list of many of these overdoses that occurred in one week in late August 2016. Camden,…

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Ecstasy Not in the Headlines, Yet Still Threatens our Youth

ecstasy pills

The drugs you see in the headlines are heroin, painkillers and marijuana but ecstasy (MDMA) is still harming and even killing our teens and young adults. It’s smart to remind active and mobile youth of the damage this strong stimulant can cause. Ecstasy is a popular party and music event drug. The full name of the drug is 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine so it may referred to as MDMA. Its other nickname – ecstasy – is a clever allusion to the false sense of empathy and affinity this drug gives you for other people. At nightclubs, dance clubs and all kinds of music…

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Massachusetts Governor Acts to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse

prescription drugs in medicine cabinet

Across the U.S., legislators and government agencies are seeking ways to reduce prescription drug abuse and addiction. In March 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines both for practitioners and patients. “Start low and go slow,” they recommended, meaning to start with the lowest possible doses of painkillers and increase them slowly as needed. In New York State, a law was enacted that requires all physicians to consult an online database of prescriptions issued so they could tell if a patient had received addictive medications from more than one doctor. And in Massachusetts, legislators took the…

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New OxyContin Formulation is Shredding Hearts from the Inside

In 2012, Canada received a reformulated OxyContin formula named OxyNEO that was supposed to prevent it from by being abused by the addicted. Before this reformulation, those who wanted to abuse the drug would crush it and snort or smoke it or they would dissolve it in water and inject it. The new formulation embedded the painkiller in a substance that would turn into a gel if it was exposed to water. After four years of use, doctors are realizing that when the addicted try to circumvent the abuse-deterrent features, they are injecting tiny, sharp-edged particles that are damaging their…

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In One Hospital, Addicted Moms are Part of the Solution

newborn with mother

In some states, the mother of a newborn risks everything if she tests positive for drugs. She could be arrested and her new child could be taken from her and placed in protective care. And her baby may need weeks of hospital care to safely go through withdrawal from the drugs it received before birth. In one hospital in Connecticut, nurses caring for addicted newborns are recruiting mothers to deliver the high level of care these babies need in these first weeks. It’s certainly possible that some babies should be taken from an addicted mother to preserve life and health.…

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Story of Young Man’s Addiction Reveals Where Teens Get Drugs

pills

Zach Crotty lived in Buffalo, New York with his family. He started using marijuana and pills in middle school and he died of an overdose before he was twenty. His parents documented his years spent addicted and his efforts to recover, using his own words and their observations. There are many such stories but what this particular story provides is insight into where teens may start getting their drugs. Zach doesn’t mention where he got the marijuana he started with at age 14, just that he asked a friend to share it with him. But he does reveal where he…

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Preventing Addiction: Doctors and Dentists Must be Part of the Solution

prescription pills and bottles

Most people working hard to save lives from addiction know that this battle is being fought on three fronts: preventing young people from starting to use drugs by educating them; seizing drug shipments and putting drug dealers and traffickers out of business; and rehabilitating those who have become addicted. In fact, there is a vital fourth front that needs to be addressed in this battle and that is this one: overhauling the way addictive substances are prescribed and ensuring that doctors are properly trained to help those who have already become dependent. This message as been voiced recently by the…

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