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 »
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 »
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 »
Stanley Lee Hampton in a photo provided by the Tredyffrin Police Department.
A Main Line dad is in trouble with police after he allegedly left his 3-year-old child home alone so that he could go out and get high. Read more »
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 »
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 »
Photo | DEA.gov
When news broke last weekend that a trio of kids at Villanova University went on bad LSD trips — two got arrested for dealing — you probably thought: Huh. Kids are still doing LSD? Turns out drugs are like fashion; everything old is eventually new again. Here, a look back at the history of LSD in Philly and elsewhere. Read more »
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 »
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz. | Photo by Elise Amendola/AP
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is usually a rabble-rouser when he delivers a stump speech on the campaign trail. Thursday night at a church in Hooksett, N.H., he was anything but as he shared the story of his half-sister Miriam’s drug addiction and an attempt he and his father made to rescue her.
Miriam’s journey from untroubled childhood to addicted adulthood began when Cruz’s father, Rafael, divorced Miriam’s mother — and it ended in a crack house near Philadelphia. Read more »
Lisa Scalia with her daughter (Facebook) / Lisa Scalia mugshot (Atlantic County)
The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office has announced the death of seven-month-old Ventnor girl Olaia Marie Mejia after her mother allegedly rolled on top of her while she was high. Read more »