Drug-Resistant Superbug Found in Pennsylvania Woman

e-coli

A terrifying strain of drug-resistant bacteria has made its first appearance in the United States — in a Pennsylvania woman.

The report, posted online Thursday as an accepted paper in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, says the E. coli found in a woman in the Keystone State “heralds the emergence of truly pan-drug resistant bacteria.”

A woman, 49, came to a Pennsylvania clinic and was found to have a rare strain of E. coli that is resistant to colistin. Read more »

ACME Now Selling Overdose-Reversal Drug NARCAN at Pennsylvania Pharmacies

ACME - Lawrence Park Shopping Center - Delaware County

The ACME Sav-On Pharmacy in the Lawrence Park Shopping Center in Broomall. (Photo courtesy ACME)

The country is the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. The CDC estimates 89 people die every day from an opioid-related overdose in the United States. Pennsylvania officials say that, in 2014, 2,400 people were killed by drug overdoses. Heroin and opioid overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the state.

Amazingly, there is a drug — Naloxone, commonly known by the brand name NARCAN — that can immediately reverse an overdose by reversing the depression opioids cause in the central nervous and respiratory systems. Research has shown that availability of naloxone does not encourage people to use opiates more.  Read more »

Penn Study: Painkiller Prescriptions on the Rise

iStockphoto.com | DanielAzocar

iStockphoto.com | DanielAzocar

Are prescription painkillers playing a role in increasing rates of addiction and overdose from prescription opioid painkillers? A study published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association by researchers at Penn Medicine doesn’t go as far to say doctors’ pain treatment methods are the cause, but shows they have become much more lenient in recent years with prescribing opioid medications — both in larger doses and more frequently — after low-risk surgeries.

“I think much of this pattern probably derives from good intentions, says Mark Neuman, senior author of the Penn Medicine study. “It also reflects the fact that there are only so many options for patients who have pain.” The researchers say more work is needed to see how pain prescriptions plays into the addiction and overdose epidemic. Read more »

Medical Marijuana Could Be Law in Pennsylvania Very Soon

iStockphoto.com | OpenRangeStock

iStockphoto.com | OpenRangeStock

After a long battle, medical marijuana is poised to be made into law in Pennsylvania.

The House of Representatives passed the bill earlier this week; the Senate will be able to vote on the bill as early as Monday.

“I applaud the Pennsylvania House for passing legislation to legalize medical marijuana, and I look forward to the Senate sending the bill to my desk,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement. “We will finally provide the essential help needed by patients suffering from seizures, cancer, and other illnesses.” Read more »

Another Nice Spring Day, Another Villanova LSD Bust

Was it just last month that a bunch of Villanova University kids went on bad LSD trips, resulting in two arrests and four hospitalizations? It sure was. Radnor Township cops confiscated $9,000 and 37 tabs of acid in February, and we pretty much assumed that was that, even though only a few years back, cops broke up what they said was a $1 million LSD ring operating out of Drexel University.

Well, Radnor cops were back on Villanova’s campus on Saturday to make another LSD bust. John Patrick Visser, a 19-year-old freshman from Aurora, Colorado, was arrested after campus police found paper dose tags and bottles of a liquid they believe to be LSD in a dorm room at Good Counsel Hall on the college’s South Campus. That’s the same dorm where the students involved in last month’s incident lived. Read more »

Casey on Pa. Overdose Epidemic: “We’re Leading in a Category We Don’t Want to Be Leading”

bob-casey-overdose-deaths-940x540

Drug overdose deaths have rapidly increased in recent years and experts say this is due in large part to abuse of prescription painkillers and heroin addiction. The number of Americans who die annually from heroin addiction has increased by 244 percent since 2007. In 2013 alone overdoses from prescription pain medications killed more than 16,000 people. Drug overdose now exceeds car crashes as the No. 1 cause of injury-related death in the United States.

Pennsylvania has been hit hard by the rising epidemic. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2,732 people in Pa. died of drug overdoses in 2014 and overdose deaths have increased by 12.9% in one year from 2013-2014. As Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey said in a conference call this morning, “We’re leading in a category we don’t want to be leading. Pennsylvania is third in the nation for heroin deaths.” Read more »

WATCH: Man ODs on Bus, Revived by Upper Darby Police

A screenshot from the video depicting an overdose and revival aboard a bus in Upper Darby.

A screenshot from the video depicting an overdose and revival aboard a bus in Upper Darby.

Upper Darby police on Tuesday released this dramatic video of a man overdosing aboard a SEPTA bus — then being revived by officers using Narcan, an anti-overdose drug.

NBC10 reports the incident happened last Thursday. Michael Meeney, 25, overdosed a collapsed; Upper Darby Officer Matt Rugh gave Meeney a dose of Narcan. Meeney soon was awake and talking. He was taken to a nearby hospital — and ultimately charged with heroin possession. Read more »

State Could Ban Cold Medicine Sales to Minors

Wikimedia Commons | MarkBuckawicki

Wikimedia Commons | MarkBuckawicki

The war on cold medicine continues.

State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, a Republican who serves parts of Bucks and Montgomery counties, told colleagues this week he will sponsor a bill that bans over-the-counter sales of certain cold medicines to children under the age of 18.

The medicines — Robitussin, Tylenol Cough & Cold, and NyQuil — contain an ingredient, dextromethorphan, that helps suppress coughs. It can also help you get high.

“Unfortunately, some teens are abusing DXM by consuming these medicines in large amounts,” Greenleaf said in a Tuesday memo to colleagues, using a shorthand, DXM, to identify the drug. He said a recent study shows a third of teens use the medicine to get high. Read more »

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