Cherokee Nation Gets 75$ Million Of Opioid Settlement Money

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The Cherokee Nation has accepted a settlement of 75 million dollars from three of the nation’s largest drug distributors, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson. The money is a settlement from a lawsuit that accused the companies of shipping large quantities of highly addictive pain pills for over 20 years, propelling the opioid crisis and creating a public health emergency for communities across the country.

The settlement is the first of its kind to give money to Native American communities, whose populations, leaders say, are disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis.

The Settlement Money Will Go To Healing

“This settlement will enable us to increase our investments in mental health treatment facilities and other programs to help our people recover,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. told reporters.

The settlement will fund much-needed treatment and mental health services for …

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Beware of “Alternative” Treatment Programs Like Enthusiastic Recovery

Many programs and treatment centers bill themselves as a little less traditional than the standard 12-step model. Many of these programs are supervised by medical and addiction treatment professionals. Other groups, like Enthusiastic Sobriety and its subsidiaries, are run by people who were also once addicted.

Many of these people are in recovery, attend 12-step meetings and work on themselves. What sets Enthusiastic Sobriety apart from these programs is the lack of self-improvement as a goal.

What is Enthusiastic Sobriety?

Enthusiastic Sobriety is a program that first emerged in the 1970s and is run by Bob Meehan, an ex-con. For decades, parents have paid top dollar for his unconventional “drug treatment” program. For the most part, he helps teens get clean and sober off of substances. He does not, however, believe in helping them change their lifestyle or behavior. And …

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Virginia Is Out Of Treatment Beds

Like many parts of the country, Virginia has been battling an opioid epidemic over the past several years. During the pandemic, resources often dried up or closed down, leaving many vulnerable clients to relapse or desperately seeking shelter. Now that the pandemic’s emergency is winding down, the state still doesn’t have enough resources to help people get clean and sober.

Increasing Overdoses in Virginia, Nationwide

The pandemic brought a large number of overdoses as people began to turn to despair. In 2020, the Virginia Department of Health tallied 2,297 fatal drugs, a number that authorities say is more than all of the gun and car crash-related deaths reported in the same year.

While addiction is a pressing public health issue, there still aren’t enough services for people in the state. Inpatient beds are sorely lacking, while outpatient clinics are often …

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Biden Reduces Barriers With New Opioid MAT Guidance

Late last month, the Biden administration took action to significantly reduce barriers to one of the most effective opioid treatments, a Medication-Assisted Treatment known by the name Suboxone or buprenorphine. With the new guidelines, there will be significantly fewer requirements for medical professionals to help people with opioid addiction. The new policy will give more people access to safe and effective treatment to help them get sober. It will help people who live in rural areas without drug treatment centers, too.

Reduced MAT Training Requirement

Prior requirements for prescribing medication like Suboxone were stringent. A doctor had to take a 30-hour training course and become recertified every year. Doctors also had to ensure the patient went to treatment or therapy as a requirement for MAT. Some doctors felt like they were forced to be treatment counselors, a burden that made …

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Purdue Pleads Guilty in Criminal Court

Purdue Pharma, the drugmakers responsible for Oxycontin, pleaded guilty to criminal charges this afternoon. The charges are related to the drug,  a highly addictive narcotic that has been a primary driver of the opioid epidemic.

Previous Oxycontin Lawsuits

The guilty pleas in the criminal case came after a settlement last month

In October, the Sackler Family (owners of Perdue) were handed an eight billion dollar judgment, a settlement combining thousands of lawsuits from cities, states, and counties. (Not every locality suing Perdue signed off on the settlement, and some were paid out separately, including New York, which received several billion of its own.) Purdue has filed for bankruptcy and may be restructured and overseen by the government as the Sacklers remove themselves from the business.

Perdue’s Criminal Charges

In today’s world, corporations are treated as people. It may be surprising …

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Fake Oxycontin is Killing People

Fake Oxycontin is a big trend on the streets in America, and investigators in Minnesota say they’re the cause of fatal overdoses. Usually, they’re laced with fentanyl, which can be fifty to a hundred times as potent than morphine.

Fake But Deadly

In St. Cloud, Minnesota, a recent overdose came from fentanyl marketed on the street as Oxycontin. Some fentanyl has also been passed off to be Oxycodone or Percocet. It’s a nationwide trend in recent months, as drug traffic has stalled at the border during a national pandemic.

The pills are made to look like the real pill, although some have a blueish tint to them. One side of the tablet is blue with the “M” stamped on one side and “30” stamped on the other.

Last month, a Sacramento resident was caught with over 1,000 pills of what …

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FDA Adds Naloxone Info to Opioid Scripts

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The Food and Drug Administration announced a new requirement for drugmakers to help inform consumers about naloxone. Naloxone is a drug that helps reverse opioid and other drug overdoses. The new rule means that every prescription drug containing opioids will now include information about naloxone.

The naloxone notice is just one small thing that they’re hoping will help people stay alive during the pandemic. People who are abusing opioids may not be aware that it’s an option. Many people are isolated from other drug users and staying home during the pandemic.

Overdoses Are Increasing During Pandemic

Drug overdoses are multiplying quickly during the age of COVID-19, and numbers of deaths were higher than ever in 2019 before the pandemic even touched American lives.

Public health officials have warned the public and doctors to expect significant increases in “deaths of

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Research Proves Opioid Agonists Prevent OD’s and Relapse

Using Medication-Assisted Treatment once carried stigma in the recovery community. However, recent research has shown how much these aspects of treatment can save lives. Opioid agonists keep people from relapse and overdose death.

Many people have a lack of understanding about why the drug is useful or how it helps people begin the path to recovery. This stigma can keep people from getting the help they need to stay clean and sober. This is a big gap in the recovery world, unfortunately. A lack of MAT options could mean the difference in recovery versus relapse. Researchers say that one group of MAT options, opioid antagonists, are especially effective when used by people new to recovery.

What Are Opioid Agonists?

Opioid agonists help people with heroin or prescription opioid use disorder abstain from those drugs. In recovery, doctors may prescribe these …

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Protesters Deliver Outgoing FDA Commissioner an 800lb “Heroin Spoon”

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Protestors descended on the FDA today to mark the end of Scott Gottlieb’s tenure with the delivery of a large “heroin spoon” sculpture stamped with the FDA’s logo. Activists say they are angry that the outgoing commissioner rubber-stamped Dsuvia, an incredibly powerful opioid that is meant for surgeries and late-term terminal cancer.

The group of activists urged the FDA to stop approving “dangerous” opioids and to focus on more ideas for medication-assisted treatment and other drugs to help treat addiction.

Dsuvia is a sublingual formulation of sufentanil, which is 500 times as powerful as morphine. The drugmaker says that the drug was created for the management of acute pain in adults in medically supervised healthcare settings. Activists and addiction specialist believe that the drug will eventually make it onto the street, causing overdose deaths, just like fentanyl. Fentanyl was developed …

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In Delaware, 3000 People Run 5K to Raise Awareness of Addiction

More than 3,000 people rallied, ran and walked in Old New Castle, Delaware last Saturday morning to raise awareness for what organizers say is the public health crisis of this generation. Family members, friends, and people in recovery ran the annual atTAcK Addiction “Erase the Stigma 5K” is an event that attracts people personally affected by addiction.

The annual race was started by parents who lost (or almost lost) their children to opioid overdose. They bonded and created a nonprofit to combat opioid abuse and addiction in Delaware. Their grassroots nonprofit helps to educate people about addiction in the community. They have a special high school just for students in recovery from addiction and they also provide addiction-related services such as support groups.

AtTAcK Addiction provides services directly to people who are looking for safe sober housing. Their 5K has …

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