As Deaths From Opioids Rise, Burial Funds For Unclaimed Bodies Shrink. Funeral Directors Struggle With Costs.
While many funeral homes get reimbursements for burials or cremations, fewer of them are wiling to offer the services because the funds don't cover ever-rising costs.
The Associated Press:
Unclaimed Bodies Pile Up As Payments Wither, Overdoses Rise
Who takes care of the unclaimed dead, the people who were homeless or estranged from family members, or who outlived all their kin, and left no assets behind? The answer is usually funeral homes that get reimbursed by state or local governments for the cost of cremation or burial. But payments are not keeping up with ever-rising expenses in some places, like Massachusetts, meaning the number of funeral homes willing to shoulder the burden is dwindling. In at least one state, West Virginia, drug overdose victims have used up nearly all the money set aside for the unclaimed dead. (Richer, 2/28)
Meanwhile, in other news on the opioid epidemic —
This Scientist Is Testing A Marijuana Ingredient As A Way To Prevent Relapse.
When she started collecting brains, neuroscientist Yasmin Hurd’s peers wondered what she could possibly be thinking. Studying animals made way more sense as a way to trace how chronic drug use changes the brain, they thought — after all, how was Hurd going to parse the long-term effects from the trauma of the overdoses that killed the brain donors? (Thielking, 2/28)
New Orleans Times-Picayune:
The Family Of A Louisiana Infant Born Addicted To Opioids Is Suing Drug Makers
A class action lawsuit was filed Monday against several pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributers on behalf of babies born in Louisiana with opioid addictions.The suit, filed in the 22nd Judicial District Court in St. Tammany Parish on behalf of a child identified by the initials K.E.R, seeks money to cover long-term treatment for K.E.R. and other infants who are born suffering opioid withdrawals. (Clark, 2/27)
Lake County's Opioid Response Continues With New Donation Of Antidote Injectors For First Responders
Collaborations and partnerships with public and private organizations were cited as key factors in the fight against the opioid epidemic by law and health officials at a news conference on Tuesday at the Lake County Health Department in Waukegan. Acknowledging one of those partners in attendance was Mark Pfister, the Health Department's executive director, who said the Virginia-based pharmaceutical company Kaleo has been instrumental in assisting with the mission, by donating more than 10,000 doses of the fast-acting opioid antidote naloxone. (Olson, 2/27)
The Baltimore Sun:
Federal Search Warrants Executed At Pain Clinics In Baltimore County
Federal agents on Tuesday raided two locations of a Baltimore County pain management clinic. Agents executed search warrants at the Owings Mills and Towson offices of Rosen-Hoffberg Rehabilitation and Pain Management Associates, federal law enforcement officials said. (Knezevich, 2/27)
Needle Exchanges Pick Up Momentum: Coming Soon To Newport And Clermont County
Two more needle exchanges soon will open up in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, in a move to stem the rise of HIV and hepatitis C in the region. (DeMio, 2/27)