Dormant War-On-Drug Era Laws Dusted Off To Go After Opioid Sellers, Providers For Fatal Overdoses
Even as the movement to treat drug addiction as a disease instead of a criminal action gains footing, some states are targeting the bottom of the opioid supply chain and going after those who provide users with the drug that led to their deaths.
The Washington Post:
Her Fiance Gave Her Heroin. She Overdosed. Does That Make Him A Murderer?
When Jarret McCasland and his fiancee decided to celebrate her 19th birthday with heroin, it meant the end of her life and the end of his freedom. Flavia Cardenas, who worked in a nightclub, died of an overdose the next morning in Baton Rouge. After a prosecutor convinced a jury that McCasland administered the fatal dose, the 27-year-old pipe fabrication shop worker was found guilty of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison in February with no chance for parole. (Kuznia, 5/8)
In other news, some states are asking doctors to do a little research before reaching for the prescription pad, a crisis is pushing community leaders to consider the once-unthinkable, and lawmakers in Illinois grapple with the epidemic —
States Require Opioid Prescribers To Check For 'Doctor Shopping'
For more than a decade, doctors, dentists and nurse practitioners have liberally prescribed opioid painkillers despite mounting evidence that people were becoming addicted and overdosing on the powerful pain medications. (Vestal, 5/9)
The Associated Press:
Once Unthinkable In US, Drug Shoot-Up Rooms Get Serious Look
Across the United States, heroin users have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints — because no one was around to save them when they overdosed. An alarming 47,000 American overdose deaths in 2014 — 60 percent from heroin and related painkillers like fentanyl — has pushed elected leaders from coast to coast to consider what was once unthinkable: government-sanctioned sites where users can shoot up under the supervision of a doctor or nurse who can administer an antidote if necessary. (5/8)
The Naperville Sun:
Durbin, DuPage Leaders Grapple With Heroin-Opioid Abuse Crisis
Illinois' heroin and opioid abuse crisis can manifest itself in unexpected, sometimes stunning ways, as U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin himself will tell you. Durbin, D-Ill., for several months has been traveling throughout the state, meeting with political leaders and public health officials to develop strategies for dealing with the situation. That included a stop earlier this week in downstate Carbondale. (Bird, 5/7)
And in Kentucky —
Judge Expects To Rule Next Week On Unsealing Secret OxyContin Documents
A Kentucky judge said Friday he would rule as soon as next week on a request by STAT to unseal documents related to allegedly illegal marketing of the pain pill OxyContin and what a top executive of the drug’s manufacturer knew about it. (Armstrong, 5/6)
The Associated Press:
Kentucky Judge To Decide If OxyContin Testimony Is Public
A Kentucky judge says he will decide next week whether to unseal the secret testimony from a former president of the company that markets the powerfully addictive painkiller OxyContin. (Beam, 5/6)