Opioids In The News

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 Local News 


February 8, 2020

Opioid-related overdoes and deaths continue to be a problem across California and the country. San Benito health and law enforcement leaders spent Saturday getting the message out about these dangerous drugs and how to help with drug abuse.


January 21, 2020

San Benito County Public Health Services invites the community to meet health care providers and state government representatives to discuss the local opioid crisis.


November, 5, 2019

To fight back against the epidemic, the San Benito Opioid Task Force is focusing on educating teenagers about the dangers of taking recreational pills, especially when they’ve been bought off the street.


October, 23, 2019

Since the uptick in overdose deaths from both opioids and stimulants such as methamphetamine, their work is becoming even more important.


October 22, 2019

It is believed fentanyl has been laced in counterfeit prescription narcotics that are being sold in our community. Multiple agencies are asking you to please not take any medication that hasn't come from your doctor and pharmacist.


October 22, 2019

San Benito County Sheriff's Office put out a warning of increase in opioid overdoses due to counterfeit pills containing the potent drug, fentanyl.

October 16, 2019

The program enables their ER to treat anyone who is experiencing withdrawal from opioids or anyone who needs support quitting.


October 9, 2019

There are treatments that work, but rehab facilities don't have to use them. A Gilroy family learned that the hard way.


July 24, 2019

The Hollister Police Department & Hollister Fire Department revived a man after he was found not breathing from a suspected opioid overdose. Made possible by training from SBC Opioid Task Force members and provided with Narcan 


July 18, 2019

Since 1968, Sun Street Centers has worked to treat patients with alcohol and drug addiction. On July 12, Sun Street Centers received a renewed, three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF International). This is the third time Sun Street Centers has received this accreditation in the past 10 years.


June 3, 2019

The San Benito County Opioid Task Force has been diligently working to address the opioid epidemic locally since its formation in late 2017. The Task Force has recently made significant strides which will help further accelerate efforts to combat local opioid issues through increased services, prevention efforts, and selection for grant funding.


April 7, 2019

A 23-year-old man was arrested Saturday morning at a Watsonville home after a police dog sniffed out 138 grams of heroin hidden under a floorboard and officers discovered four firearms, including an assault rifle. Andy Viorato-Briseno, of Watsonville, was taken into custody on suspicion of possession of narcotics while armed and possession of a controlled substance for sales.


January 14, 2019

The fentanyl drug overdose crisis that first erupted back east has come to Fresno County in a case where a Fresno man died of an overdose, Sheriff Margaret Mims said Monday.


January 12, 2019

One person has died and four are in critical condition after a mass drug overdose at a house in Chico, Calif. A total of 12 people were taken to the hospital.


October 23, 2018

San Benito County Opioid Task Force updated the San Benito County Board of Supervisors on its achievements since its establishment 1 year ago and launched its website live from the meeting.

hollister fire.jpg

June 26, 2018

2 individuals lives have been saved in San Benito County by Naloxone, an overdose reversal medication, made possible by a grant secured by Public Health Services and Emergency Services


May 19, 2018

San Benito County Public Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel discusses joining in on the lawsuit versus pharmacy giants.


May 18, 2018

San Benito County joins more than 30 counties in California to file legal action against pharmaceutical companies over the opioid epidemic.

National News

I walked out of rehab and into a pandemic...

Apr 21, 2020

Once discharged, I realized how the beginning of my sobriety would go: no hugs from friends and family, no AA meetings in church basements, no dinners at my favorite restaurants. These things I had clung onto as bright spots as I faced my life after rehab were now gone. 

The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Made The Opioid Epidemic Even Worse

March 27, 2020

The US was already grappling with an epidemic of opioid overdoses. People in recovery say the coronavirus outbreak has made getting treatment a nightmare.

Opioid Addiction Is 'A Disease Of Isolation,' So Pandemic Puts Recovery At Risk

March 27, 2020

Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, helps many people addicted to opioids wean themselves from an escalating drug habit. But counseling and social support are key to successful treatment, too, experts say.

For Drug Users, COVID-19 Poses Added Dangers

April 2, 2020

The National Institute on Drug Abuse director warns the coronavirus could increase the pressure to use, cause complicated health effects and curtail access to treatment for those struggling with addiction.

Pharmaceutical Executive John Kapoor Sentenced to 66 Months in Prison In Opioid Trial

January 23, 2020

Former billionaire and pharmaceutical executive John Kapoor has been sentenced to five years and six months in prison. His sentencing is the culmination of a months-long criminal trial in Boston's Moakley U.S. Courthouse that resulted in the first successful prosecution of pharmaceutical executives tied to the opioid epidemic.

January 20, 2020

Doctors have been increasingly prescribing benzodiazepines, also known as "benzos," in recent years. Looking at data from 2014 to 2016, new research found this class of central nervous system depressants was prescribed at about 65.9 million office-based doctor visits. That's a rate of 27 annual visits per 100 adults.


December 30, 2019

This story follows Dr. Angela Gatzke-Plamann a family practice doctor who was confronted with the opioid crisis locally and is an example of what many rural areas in the US are having to do with limited pain and addiction services and instead take on themselves. 

How the opioid epidemic evolved

December 23, 2019

A new analysis of overdose data shows when and where the three waves of drugs took hold.


December 17, 2019

Today’s meth is far more potent than earlier versions, but because it isn’t an opioid, many federal addiction treatment funds can’t be used to fight it.


September 4, 2019

Ben Westhoff, says fentanyl is now killing more Americans annually than any other drug in American history. Dealers are adding fentanyl to heroin and other drugs, and users often have no idea they're getting it or how much they may be using.

Judge's Table

August 26, 2019

The judge presiding over the historic Oklahoma opioid trial will deliver his ruling Monday afternoon -- a decision that could have sweeping implications as other states and communities try to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for the opioid epidemic.


August 25, 2019

Dr. Barry Schultz is serving 157 years in prison after he prescribed enough opioids for a prosecutor to call him one of Florida's "most notorious drug dealers." In this "60 Minutes" interview, Schultz says he's a scapegoat.

Riding on a Highway

July 8, 2019

Travis Rieder, author of In Pain: A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle With Opioids, says none of the doctors who prescribed opioids for his waves of "fiery" pain taught him how to safely taper his use of the drugs when he wanted to quit.

Pile of Pills

June 3, 2019

America’s largest drug companies saturated the country with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pain pills from 2006 through 2012 as the nation’s deadliest drug epidemic spun out of control, according to previously undisclosed company data released as part of the largest civil action in U.S. history


June 5, 2019

The opioid manufacturer Insys Therapeutics agreed to pay $225 million to settle federal criminal and civil charges that it illegally marketed a highly addictive fentanyl painkiller to doctors, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.


June 6, 2019

One of the largest murder cases in Ohio history, involving a doctor accused of killing 25 patients, will hinge on his colleagues' cooperation and what they can offer up at trial, legal experts say. And what those former co-workers reveal may help shed light on something that has so far eluded investigators: a motive.


May 22, 2019

Washington Post provides a thorough examinination of America’s deadliest drug epidemic.


April 24, 2019

The United States attorney’s office in Manhattan accused Rochester Drug Cooperative of conspiring to distribute drugs and defraud the federal government. The company sold 143 million oxycodone pills in New York State between 2010 and 2018, the state says

Election Campaign

April 25, 2019

A new poll by NPR and Ipsos finds a third of Americans have been touched directly by the deadly opioid epidemic that still kills more than 100 people every day. "One in three have been personally affected in some way, either by knowing someone who has overdosed or by knowing someone with an opioid addiction," said Mallory Newall, lead Ipsos researcher on the survey.

Pharmacists' hands

April 25, 2019

More than 20 years after the first uptick in opioid overdose deaths in the United States, two groups are pitted in a bitter tug of war around the causes of, and solutions to, the opioid epidemic. On one side are people pointing to overprescribing as the reason tens of thousands of Americans die each year from opioid overdose. On the other side are people concerned that efforts to constrain overprescribing are hurting Americans living with chronic pain.


April 12, 2019

Drug enforcement experts in San Diego are warning about a new, deadlier opioid on the streets -- Carfentanil.

Police Car

April 11, 2019

Seizures of large quantities of fentanyl, a powerful and frequently deadly synthetic opioid, have become increasingly common in the San Diego area.  

A woman and her boyfriend were behind bars today after allegedly being caught transporting more than 20 kilograms of powdered fentanyl -- an illicit drug haul valued at $1.5 million -- on an Otay Mesa freeway.


April 9, 2019

These changes will provide expanded guidance to health care professionals on how to safely decrease the dose in patients who are physically dependent on opioid pain medicines when the dose is to be decreased or the medicine is to be discontinued.


March 26, 2019

Deaths from a synthetic opioid called fentanyl have been on the rise nationally, and last week’s findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show this could be the third wave of the nation’s opioid epidemic.Though the spike in death rates has largely affected the Northeast, the trend is starting to worry health experts in California, who are already taking precautions to reduce overdoses.

Dental Surgery

August 7, 2018

The University of Michigan recently released that young people ages 13- 30 are 2.7 times more likely to continue filling opioid prescriptions after surgery.

©2019 by San Benito County Opioid Task Force