Montegut: St. John tracking 100% increase in drug overdose deaths over back-to-back years

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.

New Orleans doctor demonstrates opioid overdose treatment

WDSU - The opioid overdose treatment medication, naloxone was featured at a forum on mental health and substance abuse in New Orleans Thursday. The medication is available without a prescription at pharmacies across Louisiana.

Dr. Joseph Kanter, medical director of the New Orleans Health Department, said the drug works by blocking the body’s receptors to opioids and has no side effects. Kanter demonstrated how to use injectable naloxone kits and the nasal spray version.

Baton Rouge advocates look to other city's opioid-fighting programs for inspiration

WAFB - Thomas Spikes is rebuilding his life after his addiction to heroin landed him in front of the police chief of his home town in Nashville, North Carolina.

"I had no desire to live at that time in my life,” Spikes told CNN in an interview.

However, his next stop wasn't jail, it was rehab. This was thanks to a program started by the Nashville Police Department, called the HOPE initiative.

AG Landry provides IPSO with meds

The Daily Iberian - “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 in a prepared statement. “I appreciate the pro-active work done by our first responders to fight back against this epidemic, and I am glad we are able to give them the naloxone at no cost to the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.”

Panel calls on FDA to review opioid safety

Morgan City Daily-ReviewAn expert panel of scientists says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should review the safety and effectiveness of all opioids, and consider the real-world impacts the powerful painkillers have, not only on patients, but also on families, crime and the demand for heroin.

In a sweeping report Thursday, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine pushed the FDA to bolster a public health approach that already has resulted in one painkiller being pulled from the market.

Almost 3 quarters of accidental deaths in Lafayette involve opioids

KADNThe war on drugs has become nationwide, even rearing its ugly head right here in Lafayette. One group says the addiction isn’t tethered to a certain class of people it could happen to anyone.

According to Victory Addiction Recovery Center, 71% of accidental deaths in Lafayette last year were tied to an opioid. The alarming report from the Lafayette coroner’s office prompted The Knowledge Effect to take action, starting with a town hall.

Overuse of pain medications is epidemic and threatens health

Morgan City Daily-ReviewOur nation faces its deadliest drug epidemic ever.

For years, Americans overestimated the benefits of opioids and underestimated the risks. Many people became regular users of these narcotic pain killers, often quite innocently, with a prescription from a doctor after surgery or an injury or as treatment for a chronic condition. Few thought their growing dependence on the pain killers would lead to addiction.

Pratt: Louisiana takes action to fight opioid epidemic

L'ObservateurDrug abuse is a serious public health problem that affects almost every community and family in some way.

Drug overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States, and more than 60 percent of these deaths involve an opioid (pain pill).

When we think of drug abuse, many times we think of illegal drugs, but much of the time drug addiction starts with a prescription. Over 40 people die every day for overdoses involving prescription opioids.

Prescription for disaster: Louisiana’s opioid epidemic

Baton Rouge Business Report - Every time RoyOMartin has to replace an employee, it shells out at least $25,000 to hire and train someone new. And in recent years, the Alexandria-based lumber company has increasingly spent more to replace lost workers as a national epidemic has infiltrated the Louisiana workforce, driving up turnover and absenteeism rates, while decreasing productivity.

President and CEO Roy O. Martin III decided last fall that he had to speak out. Along with the company’s medical director, Martin penned a letter to physicians in central Louisiana, pleading with them for help.

“Over the years, we have had several employees who never returned to work after a surgery because of prescription drug dependency,” Martin wrote, asking doctors to heed the medical director’s recommendation and limit painkiller prescriptions. “I hope we can work collectively to stem the growth of the opioid epidemic.”

Taking Opioids for Pain? Speak up. Ask the Hard Questions.

Hammond Star - Opioids often are the go-to pain killer for everything from back aches and injuries to post-surgical pain, as evidenced by the more than 300 million prescriptions written each year. While they can help with moderate to severe short-term pain, opioids are not without risk.

Because they have significant side effects, including an increased risk of addiction and overdose, the American Society of Anesthesiologists suggests those who take opioids ask some tough questions — including if it is time to consider alternatives.

Mills' bill to curb opioid abuse signed into law this week

The Advertiser - Louisiana’s battle against rampant drug abuse was fortified this week by new tactics, as Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law a bill to slow the overflow of drug prescriptions in the state and hasten training for people empowered to prescribe painkillers and other controlled dangerous substances.

State Sen. Fred Mills’ legislation — a host of representatives, including Helena Moreno of New Orleans aided the bill — will make it harder for abusers of legal drugs to “doctor shop” to get more potentially addictive painkillers than necessary for their primary ailments.

The Opioid epidemic in Southwest Louisiana

KPLC - Dr. Christina Jones has worked along the East Coast and now sees the opioid trend hitting Southwest Louisiana.

"I worked in addiction medicine in the Northeast and what I saw happening up there is now happening here."

According to Jones, one of the misconceptions is "Chronic long-term opioid use doesn't actually help chronic pain. Honestly, I think taking off these long term opiates that we know don't work for long-term chronic pain anyway do need to be taken off the market," said the Tulane grad.

Pen fights back vs. opioids

The Daily Iberian - The prescription pen is truly mightier than the sword.

This past week it was revealed the current opioid epidemic that has engulfed our state and nation has origins in a one-paragraph letter written nearly 40 years ago.

The letter, which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980 and was written by a well-respected doctor, stated how rare addiction was when it came to the use of powerful pain drugs at his hospital. 

Hurdles added to prevent ‘doctor shopping’ for opioid drugs

The Courier - Hoping to stop people from “doctor shopping” for highly addictive painkillers, Louisiana lawmakers have ordered physicians to consult a statewide prescription monitoring program before prescribing opioid drugs.

The Senate on Friday unanimously approved minor changes the House had made to Sen. Fred Mills’ bill and sent the legislation to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk.