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. But paramedics with Medic 2 got to the home first and sent out an update over the air: The girl showed telltale signs of heroin use. This was an overdose.
Experts say the United States is in the throes of an opioid abuse epidemic, causing 91 overdose deaths each day. Yet the total number of opioid-related deaths may still be underestimated, suggests new research from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Each year, surgery puts millions of people in the United States at risk of long-term prescription opioid use. Sometimes, use lasts long after the normal recovery period, a new study concluded. This occurs after both major and minor surgeries, leading researchers to blame other factors for this trend.
Maumelle, AR – Scott and Shannon Doerhoff talk about their son who turned from a outstanding student to being hooked on opioids which led to heroin abuse and death. This story also discusses how many drugs are purchased via the internet.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill into law on Tuesday, April 11 which strengthens the monitoring of prescription medications. After the signing, Senate Bill 339 became Arkansas Act 820, which means prescribers of prescription medications are no longer just encouraged to monitor those prescriptions, it is now their legal duty.
"OxyContin was my big thing when I was 13 years old,” he says. “It wasn’t until I got to 22 years old, I hit the bottom finally. I either had to change or something was going to change me, I knew it. It was no longer me saying it, it was just a fact.”
The U.S. opioid crisis shows no sign of receding as a new year begins, with the latest data from several hard-hit cities and states showing overdose fatalities reaching new peaks as authorities scramble to stem the tide.
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said the trend is alarming and it is getting worse. He said the use of fentanyl in heroin is particularly troubling. Users do not know what they are buying and what is mixed into their drugs and the extra potency is proving deadly.
On February, 9, 2017, Arkansas State University in Jonesboro hosted the William Christian Doerhoff Memorial Foundation’s inaugural Speak Up-Speak Out workshop and the focus was on the life-threatening dangers of illicit prescription drug use and illegal substance abuse on high school and college campuses.
Did you know that at around age 11 (5th and 6th grade) children start taking over-the-counter medicines without adult supervision? By age 16, approximately 90% report they have taken OTC medications on their own.
In the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 119 million Americans aged 12 or older used prescription psychotherapeutic drugs in the past year, representing 44.5 percent of the population.
In a 2016 survey, the top prescription drugs abused by teens included the stimulants like Adderall (amphetamine mixed salts), tranquilizers, opioids like Vicodin (acetaminophen/hydrocodone), sedatives and cough medicines.
In 2010, a coalition led by State Drug Director Fran Flener, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and both Arkansas districts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office launched an ongoing educational program to encourage everyone to “Monitor, Secure and Dispose” of their prescription medications. Numerous partners have made the success of this program possible.