The key culprit appears to be the widespread availability of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.
The retail giant's announcement follows similar proposals on Nov. 2 from the two largest U.S. pharmacy chains, CVS Health and Walgreen Co., which each said they would pay about $5 billion.
Two of the largest U.S. pharmacy chains, CVS Health and Walgreen Co., announced agreements in principle Wednesday to pay about $5 billion each to settle lawsuits nationwide over the toll of opioids, and a lawyer said Walmart is in discussions for a deal.
The agreement represents the second largest national settlement in U.S. history, dwarfed only by the agreements with tobacco firms reached in the 1990s.
Starting Thursday, Chicagoans calling the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances can be transferred directly to treatment provider Family Guidance Centers, Inc. to receive immediate medication-assisted recovery.
A key tenet of harm reduction is meeting people who use drugs where they’re at. The coronavirus challenged advocates’ ability to do just that, prompting them to think differently about how they provide and deliver services.
The provisional 2021 total translates to roughly one U.S. overdose death every 5 minutes. It marked a 15% increase from the previous record, set the year before. The CDC reviews death certificates and then makes an estimate to account for delayed and incomplete reporting.
The Illinois Overdose Action Plan offers new and expanded resources to help treat substance abuse and addiction.
Supporters say the sites — also known as safe injection sites or supervised consumption spaces — are humane, realistic responses to the deadliest drug crisis in U.S. history. Critics see them as illegal and defeatist answers to the harm that drugs wreak on users and communities.
The deal, which must be approved by a federal bankruptcy judge, requires the Sackler family to pay as much as $6 billion, with $750 million for victims and their survivors. Most of the rest will go to state and local governments to fight the crisis.
In all, the plan could be more than $10 billion over time. It calls for members of the Sackler family to give up control of the Stamford, Connecticut-based company so it can be turned into a new entity with profits used to fight the opioid crisis.
Local advocates say so-called safe injection sites – safe havens for people to use drugs with protections against fatal overdoses – are crucial, especially with a rise in overdoses amid the pandemic.
A year after winning a major court battle against the opening of so-called safe injection sites — safe havens for people to use heroin and other narcotics with protections against fatal overdoses — the Justice Department is signaling it might be open to allowing them.
The number of Americans 55 and older who died from an opioid overdose surged 1,886% from a little over 500 deaths in 1999 to more than 10,000 deaths two decades later, according to a new report.
The city’s public health department has been distributing the tests since October to try and reduce the number of deaths due to the drug. The city has distributed somewhere between 14-1500 kits.
More than 96,000 people died of drug overdoses during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic – that’s an increase of almost 30 percent in just one year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.