Congress OKs opioid legislation in show of bipartisanship

KPLC - Setting aside the Supreme Court fight, members of Congress this week approved bipartisan legislation aimed at curbing the devastating opioid addiction across the country.

But the Support for Patients and Communities Act, which President Donald Trump said he would sign into law, has political implications. It includes contributions from at least 70 lawmakers, some of whom face tough re-election campaigns in November. The measure, which the Senate passed 98-1 on Wednesday and the House approved 393-8 on Sept. 28, ensures incumbents have something positive to campaign on in the final weeks before the election.

Download Louisiana’s opioid refusal form

WAFB - It’s now easier to tell your doctor you don’t want opioid prescriptions. The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) recently released its Voluntary Non-Opioid Directive Form as a new tool in the fight against opioid abuse. The idea is to keep more of the medications out of homes and off the streets.

Signing the pledge means you refuse the offer or administration of opioid medications, like oxycodone and morphine. Your doctor also signs the form to be released from responsibility for the consequences of your opioid refusal. The form then goes in your medical file.

Opioids: How physician anesthesiologists are treating pain responsibly

The Ouachita Citizen - The opioid crisis has made physicians increasingly wary about prescribing the potentially addictive drugs to their patients in pain. Experts in pain medicine, such as physician anesthesiologists, are creating individualized pain management plans that include alternatives to opioids that are not only safer, but often work better.

St. Mary Parish lands grant to address opioid abuse

KATC - St. Mary Parish government drug court has been awarded at $500,000 federal grant to aid in the battle against opioid abuse.

The grant is part of $320 million in grants the Department of Justice has issued to combat the opioid crisis across the United States. In St. Mary Parish, the $500,000 will be used for the improvement, enhancement or expansion of drug court services. The grants are provided to agencies within the Western District of Louisiana through the Office of Justice Programs.

Forum addresses concern of opioid use in community

The Town Talk - Megan D. Fontenot, licensed professional counselor and State Targeted Response Project director, was among the panelists for "A Public Conversation: Opioids in Our Community" forum held Friday, Sept. 20, 21, 2018 at Kees Park Community Center in Pineville.

Information on opioids was provided to community agencies in the region and training on the use of Narcan which is used in overdose emergencies.

Senate passes Opioid Crisis Response Act

KPLC - A legislative package of bills aimed to fight the opioid epidemic was approved by the Senate in a 99-1 vote.

The 70-bill package includes incentives for the development of non-addictive pain medications, ensuring state share data from the Prescription Drug Monitoring programs, funding requiring the FDA to provide opioids in smaller quantities, and measures making the mailing of illegal opioids more difficult.

New Woman's Hospital program targets growing problem of babies born to opioid-addicted moms

The Advocate - The number of women in those situations has risen sharply over the past several years in Louisiana, and the rate of Louisiana babies exposed to opioids in the womb who later went through painful withdrawals quadrupled between 2005 and 2015. Women who have been through the ordeal have described struggling during their pregnancies to find acceptance and help to overcome their addictions.

Now, a new program is being launched in Louisiana that hospital leaders and state officials say they hope will address that problem. 

St. Charles Sheriff advocates lowering opioid prescriptions

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St. Charles Herald Guide - From prosecutor to sheriff, Greg Champagne witnessed firsthand the emergence of the opioid crisis and it’s why he knows it’s a problem so prevalent that it has to be addressed on multiple fronts.

“As a prosecutor in the 80s and early 90s, I saw no heroin cases,” said Champagne. “Now, since the Mexican cartels have implemented it as their main product, it is everywhere.”

'We'll meet him again:' Families remember those lost to overdoses

Town Talk - The faces are smiling, with the exception of the stoic U.S. Marine, but the photos represent heartache for each family who donated them to a memorial wall on Friday.

A group formed by Lilly Harvey, a woman who has battled addiction and lost her daughter to a fentanyl overdose in 2017, held an event in Alexandria City Park that coincided with International Overdose Awareness Day.

New Orleans, Chinese officials announce international investigation into fentanyl ring

The Advocate - For years, U.S. officials have complained that Chinese laboratories are a major source of illicit fentanyl, the potent opioid that has driven a stunning increase in overdose deaths on this side of the Pacific.

On Wednesday, Chinese and American law enforcement officers stood side-by-side at the U.S. Custom House in New Orleans to announce what they billed as a first-of-its-kind joint investigation into fentanyl production.

'An equal opportunity destroyer': Opioid addiction pushes New Orleans treatment centers to capacity

The Times-Picayune - The people seeking help for drug addiction at Bridge House/Grace House in New Orleans have been getting younger and younger over the last four years.

Kevin Gardere, the executive development director at the organization, said that last year about 31 percent of the 808 people served at the center were under 30 years old. Roughly half were addicted to opiates.

Justice Department, DEA propose more cuts to opioid drug manufacturing

The Times-Picayune - U.S. drug manufacturers may soon face tighter production quotas on six opioids that are prone to abuse. The limits, part of a proposal from the Trump administration, would reduce drug production by 10 percent over the next year.

The new limits are part of the Trump administration's "Safe Prescribing Plan," which seeks to decrease how much fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, morphine, oxycodone and oxymorphone is produced in the country. The administration aims to cut production of those drugs by one-third over the next three years.

Trump wants federal suit against opioid manufacturers

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to file a federal lawsuit against certain companies that supply and manufacture opioids.

Speaking during a Cabinet meeting Thursday, Trump said he's directing Sessions to file a separate lawsuit, rather than joining existing lawsuits filed by states affected by the spread of the often-lethal, highly-addictive drugs.

St. Helena Sheriff’s Office gets Drug Take Back Box from AG

Action News - Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry today announced a new tool for the citizens of St. Helena Parish to aid them in fighting the opioid epidemic.

Last year, General Landry began an effort to place prescription drug take back boxes in every parish throughout Louisiana. Today, one of these boxes has been placed in St. Helena with the hope that residents will drop off their unused or expired prescription drugs – rather than having them remain in their homes, easily accessible to experimenters or addicts.

Port Police receive boost in fight against overdoses

The Lafourche Gazette - Local first responders have new resources to help them fight the opioid epidemic plaguing our state. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office has granted the Greater Lafourche Port Commission Police Department vouchers for several vials of Naloxone, a prescription medication that counteracts the effects of opioids to restore breathing during an overdose.