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

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.

Holidays a dangerous time for those with substance abuse

The Advocate - Nobody loves to celebrate and party like south Louisianians, and during the holiday season, there can be multiple parties on a single night. It makes for a festive season with family and friends.

But what about those with substance abuse issues? For them, holiday celebrations are dangerous territory. It’s a time when many “fall off the wagon.”

Busineses affected by growing opioid crisis

Daily Comet - The yearslong opioid epidemic is having a negative impact on employers and few employees have the knowledge or resources to handle addiction, according to a new survey by The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

The survey, which questioned employees and human resource professionals, showed that nearly two-thirds of them believe opioid use has caused problems for their company or will in the future.

EBR leaders release community-wide response to opioid epidemic

WAFB - Local experts in treating and preventing opioid abuse and addiction are putting together a battle plan to fight the epidemic. Doctors, police, social workers, and others have come up with some recommendations they believe will make an impact.

East Baton Rouge Coroner Dr. Beau Clark says so far this year, there have been 80 opioid overdoses: 36 from heroin and 22 from fentanyl. Dr. Clark says several more cases are still pending and the market for prescription pain medications keeps opening up. “Recently, the FDA made a decision to approve a new opioid, which again, blows my mind because I’m thinking, we are in the middle of an opioid epidemic. We don’t need any more opioids,” Clark said.

Latest plan to tackle opioids in Baton Rouge? Tougher prescription policy, more community resources

The Advocate - Capital area healthcare professionals released a nine-point plan Wednesday to address the opioid epidemic locally, a plan they hope will save lives.

The "Community-Wide Response Plan to the Opioid Epidemic" was drawn up by healthcare professionals, addiction specialists and policy makers, dozens of whom attended a Wednesday summit on the issue.

Babies born in withdrawal new complication in opioid cases

KALB - The expansive court case seeking to hold drugmakers responsible for the nation's opioid crisis has a new complication: How does it deal with claims covering the thousands of babies born dependent on the drugs?

Attorneys representing the children and their guardians want their claims separated from the federal case in Cleveland that involves hundreds of local governments and other entities such as hospitals. They told a skeptical panel of judges in New York on Thursday that they have different legal issues, a need for faster relief because the babies need services in the first years of their lives.

Opioids Aren’t Always the Answer for Chronic Pain Patients

The Advocate - Decorated veteran Justin Minyard struggled for years with chronic back pain. And though his prescribed opioids provided only minimal relief, he developed a dependency on them. Unfortunately, such circumstances are common, as a growing number of patients are struggling with a choice between addictive pills or the thought of living with debilitating pain.

How the Opioid Overdose and Death Epidemic Can Be Reversed

The Advocate - Opioid-related overdoses have reached epidemic proportions, claiming more than 42,000 lives in the U.S. in 2016 alone. Physicians on the front lines are working in their communities and with their patients to reverse this public health crisis.

The American Medical Association (AMA) created an Opioid Task Force in 2014, bringing together national and state medical organizations to come up with ways that practicing physicians could play a role in ending the epidemic.

President signs into law Cassidy-supported bipartisan bill on opioid regulation

The Livingston Parish News - U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), joined President Trump at the White House on Wednesday as he signed into law the Opioid Crisis Response Act (H.R. 6), bipartisan legislation that includes several provisions authored by Cassidy to combat the opioid crisis.

A big bill, by giving states and communities the resources to hopefully make lives better and to decrease the use of illegal drugs.

New Digital Tool To Help State Opioid Crisis

KADN - Louisiana is at the forefront of combating the opioid epidemic. “This places Louisiana among some of the leading states and our ability to track this epidemic,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter.

All ages, all genders and all across the state. According to the Louisiana Department of Health Administrator and Health Director, the opioid epidemic does not discriminate here in Louisiana. “In many parishes, more opioid prescriptions are written every year per individuals in that parish,” said Kanter. With a new opioid data and surveillance system, the state wants to tackle this epidemic head on.