BUCKS COUNTY COURIER TIMES | BY MARION CALLAHAN
Parents from Bucks County’s How to Save a Life Foundation go to Kensington at least twice a month to rescue drug users from the streets and get them into treatment. Since losing her son from addiction in 2006, Marti Hottenstein and her group have helped dozens of users find recovery.read more
TRIB LIVE | BY MEGAN GUZA
Pennsylvania’s widespread opioid epidemic, combined with controversial drug paraphernalia laws and the lack of needle exchange programs in rural areas, could spark a devastating and costly HIV outbreak, health experts fear.
HIV outbreaks have hit several parts of the country, including rural Scott County, Indiana, which could cost the state more than $100 million.read more
TRIB-LIVE | BY CHUCK BIEDKA
A deadly blend of cocaine and the powerful opioid fentanyl is appearing on Western Pennsylvania streets and autopsy tables, according to police, coroners and other experts.
The combination is a modern “speedball,” with stimulant and depressant drugs like the stuff that killed actor John Belushi in 1982 and thousands of others, said a UPMC addiction medicine specialist, Dr. Antoine Douaihy.read more
OBSERVER-REPORTER | BY TRISTA THURSTON
PITTSBURGH – On a chilly Valentine’s Day morning, Beverly Thornton dons gloves and a hospital gown and picks up a baby she’s been soothing for the last few hours. She’s wrapping up her three-hour shift as a “cuddler” in the neonatal intensive care unit at UPMC-Magee-Womens Hospital.read more
OBSERVER-REPORTER | BY KAREN MANSFIELD
At a time when they thought they would be spending their retirement traveling or pursuing hobbies, a growing number of grandparents find themselves instead raising grandchildren, a consequence of the opioid epidemic.
Across America, about 2.7 million grandparents have been thrown into the role of day-to-day caregiver – changing diapers, making lunches, carpooling and attending PTA meetings – because their adult children are struggling with opioid addiction.read more
THE CITIZEN’S VOICE | BILL WELLOCK
WILKES-BARRE — Amid flashing lights and Korn’s “Freak on a Leash” came the sobering stories of opioid addiction: records numbers of overdoses, a couple who overdosed with their children in their home, a pregnant woman charged after using drugs.
It was the beginning of a presentation from DJ Choices, a group that teaches students about the dangers of drug abuse.read more
LEHIGH VALLEY LIVE | SARA K. SATULLO
New data released by the CDC Tuesday shows America’s opioid epidemic is growing at an alarming rate and Pennsylvania is one of the hardest hit areas.
Nationally, in just one year, opioid overdoses jumped by 30 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control report.read more
TRIB LIVE | THERESA CLIFT
Allegheny County has hired a South Carolina law firm to explore whether the county should file a lawsuit against prescription opioid manufacturers, distributors and prescribers to recoup public money spent as a result of the opioid crisis.
The city of Pittsburgh also plans to hire the firm for the same purpose, pending City Council approval, officials said Tuesday.read more
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE | RICH LORD
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald is taking executive action to enter into a contract with the national plaintiffs’ firm Motley Rice, whose co-founder, Joe Rice, is among the lead counsel guiding hundreds of opioid-related lawsuits in federal court in Cleveland. Mayor Bill Peduto plans to send to city council legislation to do the same.
Allegheny County and the city of Pittsburgh plan to sign on with one of the law firms at the center of massive litigation against companies that made or distributed opioids, officials announced Tuesday.read more
LOS ANGELES TIMES | KAREN KAPLAN
For years, doctors turned to opioid painkillers as a first-line treatment for chronic back pain and aches in the joints. Even as the dangers of addiction and overdoses became clearer, the drugs’ pain-relieving benefits were still thought to justify their risks.read more
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE | 2.26.18
A typical day in Allegheny County sees two fatal overdoses, and Eric Hulsey would very much like to know where and when — in advance.
He’s not there yet. But the manager of behavioral health analytics at the county Department of Human Services has spent much of the past year combing through data on 910 fatal overdoses.read more
PENNLIVE | 2.26.18
More and more alleged heroin addicts who are also parents could be facing charges for endangering their children.
Case in point is a 29-year-old mother in western Pennsylvania who is now facing charges after allegedly overdosing last month, passing out and exposing her 5-year-old son to a syringe.read more
THE TIMES ONLINE | 2.25.2018
It’s an epidemic that has killed 184 Beaver County residents in the past two years.
At least 1,300 people have overdosed on drugs, predominantly fentanyl, since January 2016. It’s a crisis that has left state and local leaders scrambling to figure out a solution.read more
THE INQUIRER | 02.20.2018
Independence Blue Cross will make naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug, available to its subscribers for no charge, the insurance giant announced on Tuesday. The medication, known best by the brand-name Narcan, is credited with saving thousands of lives in Southeastern Pennsylvania.read more
THE TIMES TRIBUNE | 02.19.2018
SCRANTON — Top area officials and advocates fighting opioid drug addiction will host an educational panel on addiction as a disease this week.
The Scranton-based Forever Sammi Foundation is hosting Family Night on the Disease of Addiction from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the Ice Box Complex, 3 Olive St., Scranton.read more
PENNLIVE | 02.15.2018
It sounds too good to be true: A vaccine that would inoculate people against becoming addicted to heroin.
But the drug company that invented the Narcan-branded naloxone nasal spray that is saving the lives of thousands of opioid overdose victims believes such a game-changing vaccine is not only possible – but in development in its drug pipeline.read more
TribLIVE | 02.12.2018
Opioid prescriptions in both Allegheny and Westmoreland counties have decreased over the past year.
But Allegheny County physicians still write enough prescriptions quarterly to medicate each resident of Pittsburgh, and those in Westmoreland could medicate one-fourth of the county, according to data recently released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.read more
OBSERVER REPORTER | 02.11.2018
The rules are strict for recovering addicts seeking a safe place for sober living at Murphy House in Washington.
Drugs and alcohol are obviously off-limits, but the men who live here also have mandatory chores, and they must attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings – one a day for the first 90 days they take a bed in the house on Houston Street, said house manager Patrick Arena.read more
READING EAGLE | 1.30.2018
HARRISBURG – About 1,300 full-body scans of criminal offenders entering the Wernersville Community Corrections Center have been conducted in the past two weeks in just one aspect of a stepped-up Wolf administration push to curb the opioid drug overdose crisis.read more
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE | 01.29.2018
Three weeks into Gov. Tom Wolf’s declaration that the opioid crisis is a disaster emergency, a new Opioid Operations Command Center is up and running, and the administration is pushing for new legislation.read more
TribLIVE | 01.29.2018
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared in Pittsburgh Monday to announce a new federal tool in the fight against the opioid epidemic that will focus on the “dark web” and the influx of illegal drugs via the internet.read more
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE | 01.29.2018
A new team of federal drug agents, computer experts and analysts will combat worldwide online opioid trafficking, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in Pittsburgh Monday.read more
PENNLIVE | 01.29.2018
Two weeks into Pennsylvania’s disaster declaration on the opioid crisis, state officials say progress is made collecting data, dispensing Naloxone and diagnosing newborns with opioid issues.read more
THE DAILY REVIEW | 1.24.18
House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-28), along with state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-134) and House Labor and Industry Chairman Rob Kauffman (R-89), announced the latest House Republican efforts to strengthen the fight against Pennsylvania’s opioid crisis.read more
TRIB LIVE | BY BRIAN BOWLING | 1.24.18 A client who suddenly demands money from retirement savings or home equity lines could be struggling with an opioid addiction or under the control of someone who's addicted, the state Banking and Securities Department says in a...read more
Online sales of illegal opioids from China have surged in America amid e-commerce exploitation, a probe has found
THE NEW YORK TIMES | BY RON NIXON | 1.24.18 WASHINGTON — Nearly $800 million worth of fentanyl pills were illegally sold to online customers in the United States over two years by Chinese distributors who took advantage of internet anonymity and an explosive growth in...read more
‘Just say no’ doesn’t work in opioid crisis: Pa. mom’s advice after daughter dies of heroin overdose
PENN LIVE | BY THE KIMBERLY FINNIGAN | 11.3.17
CLEARFIELD – No mother should have to write an obituary for her daughter. But when Michelle Schwartzmier put pen to paper to memorialize her daughter Casey one last time, she had no idea she was about to change lives within a schism of society most people would rather forget about.read more
JOURNAL SENTINEL | BY THE JASON STEIN | 10.31.17
ADISON – Wisconsin would close loopholes that allow drug dealers to sell versions of the fearsomely powerful drug fentanyl,under a bill passed by the state Senate Tuesday.read more
THE TIMES-TRIBUNE | BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD | 10.21.17
The state Senate unanimously has passed a bill that would help to heal some of the damage caused by Rep. Tom Marino’s bill diminishing the ability of the Drug Enforcement Administration to reduce the flow of powerful prescription opioid painkillers onto the black market.read more
WASHINGTON POST | BY ALANNA DURKIN RICHER | 10.2.17 read more
STANDARD-SPEAKER | BY MARK GILGER JR | 9.28.17
POTTSVILLE — Schuylkill County is set to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding to expand its drug treatment court.read more
NEWTOWN PATCH | BY KARA SEYMOUR | 9.27.17
These 22 young Pennsylvania residents recently lost their lives to addiction. And their loved ones aren’t afraid to say it.
If you’ve looked through the obituary pages recently, you’ve likely noticed a troubling trend: there are many young faces.read more
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | BY AUBREY WHELAN AND DON SAPATKIN | 8.9.17
President Donald Trump’s advisers said Tuesday that he would not declare a national emergency over the opioid crisis, despite an “urgent” recommendation from the commission he appointed to study the epidemic.read more
TODAY | BY A. PAWLOWSKI | 6.20.17
There’s a startling new snapshot of the nation’s opioid epidemic. In just a decade, the rate of people hospitalized because of pain relievers and heroin rose 64 percent, while the rate of opioid-related emergency room visits almost doubled, according to a report released Tuesday.read more
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE | BY TRACIE MAURIELLO | 6.20.17
WASHINGTON — The numbers are staggering, and yet Donald S. Burke wants more of them.
He believes good data is essential in fighting the opioid crisis that is growing exponentially across the country — and nowhere faster than the Appalachian region that includes Western Pennsylvania.read more
Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station | BY MARGARET J. KRAUSS | 6.19.17
Roughly 3,900 Pennsylvanians died of opioid-related overdoses last year.
State Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa wants Pennsylvania to sue pharmaceutical companies for what he characterizes as deceptive marketing of opioids.read more
The HOSPITAL & HEALTHSYSTEM ASSOCIATION OF PA | BY MICHAEL J. CONSUELOS, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, CLINICAL INTEGRATION | 6.06.17
Hospital emergency rooms (ER) across the state are working to realize the potential for opportunity within the tragedy of Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic. While caring for overdose survivors rescued from death, ERs are working to foster connections that could help those patients recover their lives.read more
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE | BY SHELLY BRADBURY | 5.20.17
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The call came in at dinnertime: an 11-year-old girl, not breathing.
Pittsburgh paramedics with Medic 8 supposed the girl was choking on her food as they raced to the address in Beechview.read more
ASSOCIATED PRESS | BY KRISTEN DE GROOT | 5.19.17 PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A task force charged with outlining ways for Philadelphia to combat its opioid epidemic has recommended the city consider allowing safe sites, where drug users could inject heroin. Gov. Tom Wolf was...read more
WPSU PENN STATE | BY JESSICA KOURKOUNIS | 5.18.17 With an increasing number of opioid overdoses in Pennsylvania, attention from state and local officials is growing as well as public attention around the issue. In 2015, there were more than 3,500 drug related overdose...read more
DAILY ITEM | BY ERIC SCICCHITANO | 5.13.17 Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate aims to form a plan to help grandparents raising grandchildren, a trend on the rise amid the ongoing nationwide opioid and heroin epidemic. Introduced by Pennsylvania Democrat Bob...read more
OBSERVER REPORTER | BY DAWN GOODMAN | 5.12.17 The next step to fighting the opioid addiction exploding through Southwestern Pennsylvania is civic involvement, an assistant U.S. Attorney from Pittsburgh told a crowd gathered Wednesday night in Upper St. Clair to...read more
DAILY TIMES | BY ERIC DEVLIN | 5.8.17 PITTSBURGH >> As the opioid epidemic continues to decimate communities here at home and across the country, experts at the first-ever World Medical Cannabis Conference and Expo in Pittsburgh recently looked at what role medical...read more
6 WJAC | BY MATTHEW STEVENS | 4.24.17 HARRISBURG - Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday that Pennsylvania has received a $26.5 million federal grant to fight the opioid epidemic. "The scourge that is the heroin and opioid abuse must be attacked and this significant influx...read more
ALTOONA MIRROR | BY CARLEY MOSSBROOK | 4.21.17 Lawmakers say they hope legislation will increase constituents’ treatment options HARRISBURG — As the opioid and heroin crisis continues across the commonwealth, House Health Committee members on Wednesday unanimously...read more
PENNLIVE | BY DAVID WENNER | 4.20.17 Pennsylvania will receive $26.5 million toward fighting addiction to heroin and painkillers -- the fourth-highest grant in a new federal effort to address the overdose crisis. Pennsylvania's grant comes through the 21st Century...read more
PENNLIVE | BY CHARLES THOMPSON | 4.20.17 The Pennsylvania House's Health Committee gave a first approval Wednesday to a bill that would recognize drug overdoses as a cause for involuntary mental health commitments. At present, such involuntary commitments are tied to...read more
WTAE | BY SALLY WIGGIN | 1.24.17 PITTSBURGH — "This is the first epidemic that really began not with drug dealers on the street and mafias or drug gangs, but with doctors. That's why it's nationwide." “I think we need to have as many options as possible to address...read more
ABC 27 NEWS | BY DAWN WHITE | 12.12.16
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The stress of the holiday season can be hard for many and even more challenging for those struggling with opioid addiction. Governor Tom Wolf recently made an investment in drug treatment in hopes of tackling those holiday blues.read more
TRIBUNE REVIEW | BY DEBRA ERDLEY | 11.30.16
As the opioid epidemic took root in rural Pennsylvania a decade ago, sending overdose fatality rates soaring in Westmoreland and surrounding counties, another serious health threat bubbled up.read more