How Florida ignited the heroin epidemic

The Palm Beach Post published a comprehensive look into how Florida’s OxyContin market fueled the heroin epidemic. They found that Florida was the main source of oxycodone in every state east of the Mississippi, and when Florida finally curbed that export, people turned to heroin.  “To backtrack the origins of the heroin crisis, The Post…

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The rise of opioid use is causing more babies to be born already addicted

A Crain’s Chicago Business investigation found that the number of babies born with withdrawal symptoms as a result of their mothers using drugs during pregnancy is rising, especially in Illinois. It costs nearly $34,000 for a typical Illinois hospital to treat a baby suffering withdrawal, compared to the $4,000 it costs to treat a baby…

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Overdoses, DUIs, stolen drugs: Florida’s third-biggest fire rescue department has a problem

  A Tampa Bay Times investigation found that one Florida county fire department had 47 drug- and alcohol-related incidents involving employees since 2010. These incidents included a 911 dispatcher who overdosed during a call, a paramedic stealing morphine off a truck and another paramedic who died of an overdose.   

Pain doctors soak up profits by screening urine for drugs

A data-driven investigation by Kaiser Health News revealed that spending on urine screens and related genetic tests quadrupled from 2011 to 2014 to an estimated $8.5 billion a year — more than the entire budget of the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet there are virtually no national standards regarding who gets tested, for which drugs and…

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How some Southern California drug rehab centers exploit addiction

The Southern California News Group recently investigated the addiction industry and found it peppered with financial abuses that bleed millions from public and private pockets, can upend neighborhoods and often fails to set addicts on a path to sobriety.  The revolving door between detox centers, treatment facilities, sober living homes and back again generates huge…

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Private diversion programs are failing those who need help the most

Outsourced offender-funded diversion programs are becoming increasingly popular among prosecutors because they reduce caseloads, cost nothing and sometimes even bring in revenue. But an investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found that programs run by CorrectiveSolutions often failed to help those who most need the programs.

Clinic inspectors say state agency foiled their investigations

For more than a year, Seattle’s KING-TV has reported on “Sobriety for Sale” – licensed treatment clinics where counselors are accused of taking bribes and letting offenders skip their court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment.  It all happened right under the nose of the Washington State’s watchdog agency that licenses and inspects clinics.  Now, two whistleblowers…

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Drugs vanish at some VA hospitals

Government data obtained by the Associated Press shows a sharp increase since 2009 in opioid theft, missing prescriptions or unauthorized drug use by employees of medical centers run by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.  Many VA hospitals have also failed to fully track their drug supplies.  It is not clear if the problem is worse at…

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