U.S. Attorney, SJSO team up for major St. John Parish prosecutions

L’observateur - U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser, appointed by the president to represent the Eastern District of Louisiana, has had a hand in prosecuting St. John Parish cases…“I can tell you, where drugs are, crime follows,” Strasser said. “The two go hand-in-hand. It’s very difficult to engage in illegal business without protecting yourself, because you obviously can’t go to the police for protection, so guns follow.”

Strasser believes the nationwide drug problem is heightened, in part, by overprescribing medicine.

Whether medication obtained through legal or illegal means, Strasser said there is no denying the country’s drug problem with an average of 144 deaths by overdose occurring each day.

Opioid distributors flooded communities with painkillers. Now they deny responsibility

The Advertiser - Even as overdoses and deaths from prescription painkillers devastated the nation, two of the largest drug distributors in the United States delivered at least 12.3 million opioid painkillers to a single pharmacy in tiny Mount Gay-Shamrock, W.Va. — population 1,779 — over eight years starting in 2006.

That’s more than 6,900 pills for every man, woman and child in the small town. Even that accounts for only a fraction of the prescription opioids that distributors pumped into rural towns in West Virginia — a state with the nation’s highest rate of overdose deaths in 2016.

Report: Hepatitis A infections increased by nearly 300% over 2 years

KARD - Hepatitis A, a vaccine-preventable illness, like measles, has made a resurgence among adults in the United States who are at risk for the infection, according to a new report.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the number of cases reported to the agency through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System from 2013 to 2018.

Hepatitis A infections increased 294% between 2016 and 2018, according to the study, published Thursday in the MMWR weekly report.

Drug Court offers redemption

Houma Today - After graduating from Terrebonne Parish Drug Court in April, Cody Chauvin said he feels like a new man.

Before Drug Court, Chauvin said he was arrested more than 65 times and was addicted to crystal methamphetamine. Today he does construction work, surrounds himself with a support network and has found a new lease on life.

“I’m chasing dreams today,” Chauvin said. “I’m doing things I never done before. I want to succeed in life and be an active member of society because I’ve been a menace to society all my life.”

Pushing through pain: Opioid alternative helps new moms recover from C-sections

Donaldsonville Chief - Katrina Bowman has dealt with a lot in her 16 years as a surgery nurse.
So when her blood pressure started rising one day last year, about seven months into a pregnancy that had included severe preeclampsia, she knew it was time to call the doctor and get things checked out.
Her daughter, Kinley, was delivered via cesarean section a short time later, about two months earlier than expected.
For many new moms facing comparable health issues, C-sections are a necessity. But for Bowman, 37, it was the preferred choice for delivery.
“I wanted a C-section,” said Bowman, a nurse at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “It’s probably the surgical nurse in me. ... Surgery is my life. It seemed more controlled and planned out.“
What she didn’t want, however, were copious amounts of prescription opioids for the pain that comes with cutting through skin and muscle.

Cocaine deaths up in US, and opioids are a big part of it

WVLA - Cocaine deaths have been rising in the U.S., health officials said Thursday in their latest report on the nation’s deadliest drug overdose epidemic.

After several years of decline, overdose deaths involving cocaine began rising around 2012. And they jumped by more than a third between 2016 and 2017.

The increase at least partly reflects trends in deaths from heroin, fentanyl and other opioid drugs. Many overdose deaths involve several different drugs. The CDC researchers found that nearly three-quarters of the deaths involving cocaine in 2017 were among people who had also taken opioids.

SBSO holds Drug Take-Back Day

The St. Bernard Voice - Residents properly disposed of nearly 40 pounds of unwanted or expired prescriptions and overthe-counter medications on Saturday, April 27 as the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office participated in the annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Narcotics officers with the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office accepted the unwanted medications over a fourhour period at the Special Investigations Division substation, 7001 W. Judge Perez Drive in Arabi.

Fighting The Opioid Epidemic

The Advocate - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health care professionals could save more than 130 lives lost to the opioid epidemic each day.

How? With a deeper understanding of pain, pain medication and addiction, especially related to opioids. Communities rural and urban are witnessing a growing and deadly phenomenon, while health care providers feel caught between prescribing guidelines and patients’ needs.

Amid US opioid crisis, deaths from stimulants steadily rising

KARD - Headlines about America's drug crisis have long centered on opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. But a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention paints a more complicated picture of the drug crisis.

Overdose deaths involving cocaine and psychostimulants such as methamphetamines, MDMA, methylphenidate (commonly sold as Ritalin) and caffeine have also been steadily rising.

In 2017, there were 23,139 overdose deaths involving these drugs, making up nearly a third of the 70,237 fatal overdoses that year, according to Thursday's report.

Freshman lawmakers introduce bill to combat opioid crisis

KLFY - A group of freshman lawmakers representing 30 states is hoping a fresh approach can make a difference in the war against drug addiction.

Congressman David Trone, D-Maryland, is one of the 55 members of the "Freshman Working Group on Addiction." He's witnessed the painful reality of addiction firsthand.

In 2016, there were more than 64,000 overdose deaths, according to Trone, and his nephew was one of them.

"He died alone in a hotel room at the age of 24," Trone said.

Ascension Parish Briefs - Public Service Announcement

Gonzales Weekly Citizen - Narconon New Life Retreat would like to remind families to stay educated on the signs and dangers of drug abuse. Methamphetamines and opioids are on the rise in both rural and city areas. Learn the signs and protect your loved ones from drug abuse and addiction. The amount of deaths caused by Methamphetamines has almost tripled since 2014. Narconon provides free drug education materials covering a wide range of topics. Please call today for your free drug education materials at: 1-800-431-1754.

Lessons I learned when heroin killed my son

The Advocate - “Everyone fell in love with Bryce from the moment they met him … he would light up a room. He was very loving, he had the biggest heart of anybody I knew, and I think toward the end, that’s what killed him. He was so disappointed in himself. It was eating him alive. One night, he came to me crying, asking, ‘Why can’t I stop this?  I just don’t understand, I don’t wanna be like this.’ But it was just so much bigger than him.”

April Gomez, 49, reflects on her son’s life with an indescribable sadness in her voice.

Law enforcement works to 'dry up supply' of loose prescription drugs with take back day

The Acadiana Advocate - In hopes of lessening future drug abuse, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office participated in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 17th nationwide prescription drug take back day Saturday, collecting unused prescription drugs from the community to safely dispose them.

About 3,615 pounds of prescription drugs were collected in Louisiana during the October take back day, according to a DEA news release.

Area law enforcement agencies take back unwanted prescriptions Saturday

The Advocate - Eight area law enforcement agencies will be accepting unwanted prescription drugs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of the national effort of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to get potentially dangerous drugs out of homes.

The twice-a-year event will be held at collection sites across the country to rid homes of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medicine.