Disgraced Former OH Sheriff Becomes Addiction Counselor

Former Sandusky County, Ohio Sheriff Kyle Overmyer's life went into a spiral in 2016, when he was charged and pleaded guilty to 13 felonies. Among those crimes he pleaded guilty to were acts that are common for people who are addicted to drugs. He lied to get doctors to prescribe pain medication to him. He stole drugs out of several drug take-back boxes, meant to help deter drug abuse in the community. And he ended up using public funds on his own needs. When he pleaded guilty in December of 2016 to charges stemming from those acts, his life changed. He went to prison. Sheriff Overmyer's Addiction Sheriff Overmyer was addicted to painkillers, and like a lot of addicted people do, he resorted to things he considered immoral to try to get his drug of choice. While Overmyer, at age 36, he was struggling with the pain of arthritis in his knee. Physicians dispensed an opioid prescription to help him. Overmyer soon became dependent on the drugs, seeking out…

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Is the Opioid Crisis Worse Than We Thought?

New research on the opioid crisis published by Addiction journal shows that the opioid epidemic’s numbers are as much as shows that overdose deaths might be as much as 28% higher than previously reported. A significant number of deaths may have been left out of reporting for several years. Where Are The Unreported Deaths? In Alabama, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Indiana, the actual final numbers of deaths may have been previously underreported by as much as 50%. Nearly 72% of “unclassified drug overdoses” that occurred between 1999-2016 involved prescription opioids, heroin, or fentanyl. However, due to the victims having other drugs in their systems, they are marked as “unclassified”, even if it’s most likely that the opioids killed that person. For example, a person with Oxycontin and marijuana in their system might have their death left unclassified, even if it’s very unlikely that marijuana killed them. All in all, the number of unclassified deaths during the opioid crisis was estimated at 99,160. These deaths remain unclassified due to swamped coroner’s…

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Opioid Victims, Families Can Begin Suing Purdue Pharma

A federal judge has decided that victims of the opioid epidemic have the right to sue Purdue Pharma for damages, but all claims must be filed by June 30, 2020. This is when the company will begin its bankruptcy proceedings. Purdue has also reached a settlement with a portion of some states and local governments. Although the settlement amount has not been disclosed, it’s been reported that it could be worth more than $10 billion. The presiding Judge, Robert Drain, says it’s important to note that an official amount for settlement has not yet been reached. What is Purdue Settling For? Purdue Pharma has faced hundreds of lawsuits accusing them of creating the opioid epidemic that has killed tens of thousands of Americans in the past several years. They are accused of using coercive marketing tactics with doctors, even though they knew there were addictive properties in their opioids like Oxycontin. They often would encourage doctors to “titrate up” patients, even though the level of pain medication prescribed to…

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Parents Who Use Marijuana Likely Have Kids Who Use It, Too

Years ago, anti-drug commercials issued a warning to people that kids often follow in their parents' footsteps when it comes to drug use. Much of the anti-drug commercials from that era are considered to be propaganda. A new study finds that parents that smoke weed also have teens that smoke it, and the teens are more likely to use other substances as well. Marijuana use in the United States is increasing with laws that end the prohibition of the substance. For many people, marijuana is just one drug that they use, making authorities worried that this will be true for the teens that use marijuana today. What Was in this Marijuana Study? The study followed the parents as well as their offspring, including the drug use of 24,900 fathers and mothers. The study found that parental marijuana use was associated with increased risk of marijuana, nicotine, and opioid misuse by both adolescent and young adults. Young people were also more likely to abuse alcohol at earlier ages if their…

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Richmond Tests “First Responders for Recovery” Program

In recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day, Richmond Virginia launched a new program meant to save the lives of people struggling with addiction. The Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) and Richmond City Health District (RCHD) announced the new initiative, dubbed “First Responders for Recovery”. The program, modeled as an evidence-based program, helps people struggling with substance use by connecting them to local recovery resources. The program uses a Peer Recovery Specialist named Courtney Nunnally. Courtney herself is a person in recovery. She’s been inspired to help others who struggle and offer them some hope.  “This program is a way for me to give others hope and a path to recovery and I really believe it will save lives.” What Do “First Responders for Recovery” Do? As a Peer Recovery Specialist, Courtney offers a unique perspective to EMTs and paramedics and EMTs. When a person overdoses, they are often feeling vulnerable and need guidance. They may be receptive to trying to get clean and sober, but overwhelmed or without the resources…

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Tom Price Debates Using Opioids to Treat Opioids

There is a general consensus in the United States that opioid addiction is not a ‘curable’ disease but rather a disease that requires treatment. The notion of using opioids to battle addiction to opioids has had considerable opposition over the years. Recently this method has come under scrutiny by Tom Price, the new Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Trump administration. He has stated that these methods only diminish the addiction and are not a step towards finding a cure. A National Crisis No Longer in the Shadows Meanwhile awareness of this epidemic has come to the surface in main stream society in the United States, especially in West Virginia, where they have highest death rates related to all available forms of opioids. Regardless if it is heroin or prescribed medication the outcry for a solution is ringing in the ears of the people who make important decisions. On May 9, in West Virginia, Tom Price shared his opinions. He said “Folks need to be cured so…

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