My mother, the addict: How this 'brilliant, beautiful' woman lost her way

The Advocate - She was brilliant, and also unassuming in a lot of ways … she’s a very kind, compassionate and loving woman, but she’s also extremely naïve. I didn’t really see it that way as a child, though. I just saw her as my beautiful, caring, funny, humble, nurturing mom. She was lovely … really.”

Karl Lawrence, 36, speaks these words with softness in his voice.

New physician at Woman's Hospital specializes in opioid use disorder

The Advocate - Dr. Tara Benjamin Simon has joined the Woman's Hospital fetal medicine team, which cares for women with high-risk pregnancies in Baton Rouge.

This specialized group of OB-GYNs are trained to care for women with high-risk pregnancies, according to a news release. Simon comes to Woman’s with national recognition in caring for women with perinatal substance use disorders.

Deadly opioid overdoses plateau in Louisiana, though more cases involve fentanyl

The Advocate - First, the good news: Fatal drug overdoses in Louisiana appeared to level off in 2018 after years of steady increases fueled by the nationwide opioid epidemic.

Now, the bad news. Even though the number of overdoses stabilized, it plateaued at a historically high number. And it would take many years of steep reductions to bring the rate back to where it was before the opioid crisis began.

Opioid crisis must be met head on at all levels

Town Talk - As heroin, fentanyl and other drugs pour through the southern border, killing Americans across the country, every state has become a border state. President Trump’s emergency declaration seeks to stop the flow of drugs and put an end to the over 60,000 overdose deaths each year. I fully support this effort and a continued ‘all of the above’ response to the opioid crises.

It's not enough to just secure the border from drugs and prevent more from becoming addicted, we must help our communities and those already affected. Last year, with my support, Congress passed the Opioid Crisis Response Act.

Forum to help faith leaders deal with opioid crisis set for March 26

The Advocate - A forum to share practical information and resources designed for faith-based leaders to help them respond to the opioid crisis and meet the needs of their congregation is being held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 26.

The session, sponsored by Capital Area Human Services in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health — Region 2, will be held at Capital Area Human Services, 4615 Government St., Room 200.

Opioid crisis: With Narcan, Lafayette deputies rescue addicts from the brink of death

The Advertiser - It was about 2 a.m. on New Year's Day 2017 when Deputy Stephen Porche got the call for help.

Porche, 41, a new deputy at the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Department, was on patrol when his radio crackled to life, sending word about a possible opioid overdose at a nearby apartment complex. Porche rushed to the scene and found an unconscious man lying on the ground. He wasn't breathing and his skin was cold. He looked dead.

Opioid-addiction is a serious problem for seniors

L’Observateur - The public is quickly learning drug abuse goes beyond the illegal substances that are purchased on the street. Abuse of drugs extends to the prescription medications sitting in many medicine cabinets.

While teenagers and young adults may be the first to be stereotyped as prescription drug abusers, seniors may have unwittingly become mixed up in one of the most misused prescription classes: opioid pain relievers.

Parents worried about risks, still think opioids are best for kids’ pain relief

The Advocate - Headlines filled with news of opioid abuse, overdoses and reports that 90 percent of addictions start in the teen years could make any parent worry. Yet parents remain conflicted about opioids: While more than half express concern their child may be at risk for opioid addiction, nearly two-thirds believe opioids are more effective at managing their child’s pain after surgery or a broken bone than non-prescription medication or other alternatives, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

Amid opioid crisis, grant aims to reduce overdoses and drug related crime in Baton Rouge

The Advocate - The East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's Office is starting work on a new grant aimed at reducing the death toll from the nation's opioid epidemic, which hasn't spared the Baton Rouge area of both fatal overdoses and drug related homicides. 

District Attorney Hillar Moore III said the ultimate goal is to get drugs off the streets without throwing addicts in jail — "making better cases against dealers and connecting users with services."

Report: Distributors, DEA failed to abate US opioid crisis

KALB - A congressional report on prescription pill dumping in West Virginia blames U.S. prescription drug distributors and the Drug Enforcement Administration for not doing enough to help mitigate the nation's opioid addiction and overdose crisis.

The 324-page report released Wednesday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee followed an 18-month investigation and focused on the three largest U.S. wholesale drug companies, McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen, and regional distributors.

Opioids offer little benefit in long-term chronic pain treatment, study says

New research suggests that prescription opioids may offer little more benefit than placebos for patients who are being treated for long-term, non-cancer-related pain.

The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and first reported by CNN, indicate that the benefits of opioid medication in treating chronic pain decrease over time, while the risk of certain side effects, such as vomiting and constipation, actually increase.

US urges doctors to write more Rx for overdose antidote

Bastrop Daily Enterprise- The U.S. government told doctors Wednesday to consider prescribing medications that reverse overdoses to many more patients who take opioid painkillers in a move that could add more than $1 billion in health care costs.

Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir, a doctor appointed by President Donald Trump, announced the guidance, saying it’s important for doctors to discuss overdose dangers with patients.