Opioids In The News

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Since the uptick in overdose deaths, their work is becoming even more important

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It is believed Fentanyl has been laced in counterfeit prescription narcotics that are being sold "on the street."

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

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

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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 that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans since 2000.


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

Local News


The Hollister Police Department and 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 from a grant from California Department of Public Health.


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" or "electrical" pain taught him how to safely taper his use of the drugs when he wanted to quit.

Local News


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.


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

Local News


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.


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.

As part of the deal, a subsidiary of Insys will plead guilty to five counts of mail fraud and the company will pay a $2 million fine and $28 million in forfeiture, according to a statement from the United States attorney’s office in Massachusetts. The company will also pay $195 million to settle allegations that it violated the federal False Claims Act, which involves defrauding the federal government through drug sales to health care programs like Medicare.


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.

A six-month review into William Husel, an intensive care doctor at Mount Carmel Health System in Columbus from 2015 to 2018, culminated Wednesday with his indictment. Franklin County prosecutors allege that Husel, 43, ordered excessive doses of opioids for those patients in intensive care, which either caused or hastened their deaths.


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


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.

Translation: The company is essentially accused of sending suspiciously large numbers of prescription pills to doctors and pharmacists, and preventing regulators who work to stop improper drug trading from interceding


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.


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.


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


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.


Researchers at UC San Diego have developed a new way to field test for Fentanyl, a dangerous opioid that is deadly even in trace amounts.

Similar to diabetes testing strips that measure glucose levels, the scientists at the Center for Wearable Sensors created a testing strip that can detect Fentanyl.


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.


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.

Rapid discontinuation can result in uncontrolled pain or withdrawal symptoms. In turn, these symptoms can lead patients to seek other sources of opioid pain medicines, which may be confused with drug-seeking for abuse. Patients may attempt to treat their pain or withdrawal symptoms with illicit opioids, such as heroin, and other substances.

Opioids are a class of powerful prescription medicines that are used to manage pain when other treatments and medicines cannot be taken or are not able to provide enough pain relief. They have serious risks, including abuse, addiction, overdose, and death

Local News


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.


These findings, published Thursday in a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, highlight the start of the third wave of the nation’s opioid epidemic. The first was prescription pain medications, such as OxyContin; then heroin, which replaced pills when they became too expensive; and now fentanyl.


There were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a number greater than all American deaths during the entire Vietnam War. Some 28,466 of those involved fentanyl, the highly addictive opioid that is many times more potent than heroin and, accordingly, considerably more deadly.


The nation’s death rate is double that of the Nordic countries, which have the next highest rates, and more than 27 times higher than in Italy and Japan.


 A record number of people died in San Diego County in 2018 from the synthetic opioid, fentanyl. The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office reported that deaths from the opioid have more than doubled in the last two years.


The fetanyl 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.


Accidental opioid overdoses are not only on the rise but are now the most common preventable cause of death in the U.S. for the first time ever, according to a new report.


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.


A study recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that there is a much larger than expected role that dental prescription play in the current opioid epidemic the U.S. is facing. In 2017 alone, there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths. And when dentists prescribe opioid painkillers after procedures, they may be setting their patients up for an addiction.


“It’s really hard when people can’t see how much pain you’re in, because they have to take your word on it and sometimes, they don’t quite believe you,” she said.

Now scientists are peeking into Sarah’s eyes to track how her pupils react when she’s hurting and when she’s not — part of a quest to develop the first objective way to measure pain.


Unfortunately, dentistry has played a role in this growing opioid epidemic, albeit unintentionally. There has always been a delicate balance between treating dental pain, which at times can be quite severe, while recognizing the underlying potential for addiction. Are you aware of the alternatives that are available to help patients when they have true dental pain and need a reliable method to manage it? Do you know how effective these alternatives are at relieving dental pain?


A doctor who owns an urgent care facility in Irvine was arrested Tuesday on charges of illegally distributing opioids, including to a man charged with running over and killing an off-duty Costa Mesa fire captain riding his bicycle in Mission Viejo.


Life expectancy in the U.S. is down for the second year in a row. One main reason: opioid abuse.


In part of a G20 deal that has temporarily halted a trade war between China and the United States, China has agreed to label the synthetic opioid fentanyl a controlled substance.


Fentanyl is now the most commonly used drug involved in drug overdoses, according to a new government report. The latest numbers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics say that the rate of drug overdoses involving the synthetic opioid skyrocketed by about 113% each year from 2013 through 2016.


The nation’s opioid crisis was declared a public health emergency in 2017. Rampant addiction led to some 70,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. last year, and 2019 could see the culmination of a flood of ensuing lawsuits seeking accountability.


Almost 9,000 children and teenagers died from opioid poisoning from 1999 to 2016, and annual deaths increased threefold over the 18 years, a team of researchers at Yale University reported Friday. 


Technology is attempting to help tackle alternative ways for chronic pain management, using virtual reality it helps to decrease the pain stimuli to the brain by overshadowing it with a game to interactive landscape.


Dan Gosnell, a former Aberdeen police lieutenant, became addicted to opioids after neck surgery, and lost his career after he resorted to stealing drugs from the evidence vault at the police station. He now counsels addicts as a clinical aide at Harbor Grace Recovery Center.


Federal prosecutors charged four people with conspiracy to distribute the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl, after a Walnut Creek woman was arrested with thousands of dollars of the drug.

Local News


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


Local News


According to a study published by the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, people addicted to opioids are injuring their own pets, or even dogs not belonging to them, to obtain opioid prescriptions.


Discusses the unique way a company is getting prospective employees sober and keeping their employees who will be soon to retire sober as well


Naloxone is a necessary tool in stopping an opioid overdose and although pharmacies have had it is has not been easily accessible until recently.

Local News


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

Local News


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


"Fentanyl, a potent opioid already responsible for thousands of deaths nationwide, is increasingly showing up in drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine in California, officials say."-Karlamangla


Coroner sent letters to inform and educate doctors that their patient abused opioids and their prescription may have contributed to their overdose death. 


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. 

Local News


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


Pain is part of recovery and it has become a balance for both providers and patients to manage as information on the impact of opioid addiction in America has turned into a crisis


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©2019 by San Benito County Opioid Task Force