The epidemic of drug overdoses, often perceived as a largely white rural problem, made striking inroads among black Americans last year -- particularly in urban counties where fentanyl has become widespread.
Health researchers have some grim news for Americans: We are dying younger, and life expectancy is now down for the second straight year — something not seen in more than half a century.
One undeniable culprit is the opioid epidemic, which is cutting down young adults at alarming and increasing rates, the researchers say.
KATC - Opioid painkillers after surgery can be the first step toward addiction for some patients. But a common drug might cut the amount of narcotics that patients need, a new study finds.
Daily Advertiser - With opioid addiction becoming more common across the country and Louisiana, local law enforcement officials are taking steps to limit access to the drugs.
KALB - Police officers and prosecutors from agencies around Louisiana are training to investigate and bring to court cases involving deaths from opioid abuse, as such deaths are on the rise.
Attorney General Jeff Landry's office hosted the all-day education session Tuesday in Baton Rouge, coordinating with the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute.
The Town Talk - People seeking to dump old prescription medications now have more locations in Central Louisiana.
On Tuesday, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry stopped in Alexandria to tout a new drug take-back box that now is placed at the Rapides Parish Courthouse.
KALB - Joining forces with law enforcement departments in the state to battle opioid addiction, the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office is placing a prescription drug drop-off box at the court house.
Attorney General Jeff Landry attended a press conference at the Rapides Parish Court House Tuesday to announce the placement of the box, and to discuss what his administration has been doing to decrease opioid use.
CenLANow - Opioid overdoses: It's an epidemic that's spanning the nation and impacting hundreds of families right here in Baton Rouge. Today, health professionals got together to come up with ways to combat this crisis.
WWL - America's opioid crisis isn't just claiming lives, it's also costing local governments millions to try to fight it.
On Wednesday, the city of New Orleans will consider following several other parishes in filing suit against more than a dozen drug companies. The lawsuits, including one filed by the state, claim the companies have flooded Louisiana with opiods to boost their profits.
The Advocate - Transforming the historic Longbranch Hotel in Abita Springs into an inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation center drew skepticism in the small St. Tammany Parish town when plans for the center first surfaced in 2015.
Residents worried that the facility would drive property values down and crime up, despite assurances to the contrary from those launching the venture.
Now, as the Longbranch Retreat & Recovery Center prepares to open on the camellia-dotted grounds along La. 36, local misgivings have mostly evaporated, and law enforcement officials are hailing the facility as an answer to the growing addiction problem on the north shore.
The Advocate - A new prescription drug take-back box was installed at the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters this week as part of an initiative by the state attorney general to “fight back” against the opioid epidemic.
KALB - A federal report says the powerful painkiller fentanyl was involved in more than half of the recent opioid overdose deaths in 10 states.
The report released Friday is the latest to show how fentanyl is helping to make the nation's current drug epidemic the deadliest in U.S. history.
Shreveport Times - Caddo and Bossier parish residents may drop unused or expired prescription pills into secure boxes at two newly established, permanent parish locales.
Bogalusa Daily News - Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal announced last week that he has joined several other Louisiana sheriffs in filing a lawsuit against drug companies which manufacture, distribute and fraudulently market opioids, leading to increased crime and delinquency throughout Washington Parish.
KATC - Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso has joined four other sheriffs to sue opioid manufacturers.
Laborde Earles, a Louisiana law firm, filed the suits today on behalf of Mancuso and sheriffs in Washington, Ouachita, Sabine and Vernon parishes against pharmaceutical companies and physicians over the alleged fraudulent marketing of prescription opioid painkillers that has led to increased crime and delinquency across Louisiana.
The Livingston Parish News - Addiction is no stranger to Gary Bentley. In fact, it nearly destroyed his life.
Addictions came with a steep price for Bentley, who spoke at the Oct. 5 Denham Springs Kiwanis Club meeting.
The American Press - The opioid addiction raging through the country has definitely made its way into Louisiana, and the most vulnerable among us are its victims. The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported the number of newborns exposed to alcohol and drug abuse has almost tripled over an eight-year period.
The Inquisitor - “The abuse and misuse of opioids throughout Louisiana is a public safety crisis that has, unfortunately, taken the lives of many of our state’s people,” Landry said.
L'Observateur - Autopsy statistics show that in 2014 and 2015 there were three deaths each year due to accidental overdose from opiate drugs.
In 2016 the death toll increased to six for the year, and in the first six months of 2017 we already have six confirmed overdose deaths with another suspicious case pending autopsy results as of this writing.
Franklin Banner-Tribune - Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office has granted the Baldwin Volunteer Fire Department 20 vials of Naloxone, a prescription medication that counteracts the effects of opioids to restore breathing during an overdose. The life-saving drugs were made available through a $1 million legal settlement between General Landry and Pfizer.