Chicago public health officials reported 467 opioid-related deaths in January through June 2021, compared with 573 during the first six months of 2020 — an 18.5% decrease. About 90% of the incidents involved fentanyl, officials said.
The yearslong effort by state and local governments in the U.S. to force the pharmaceutical industry to help pay to fix a nationwide opioid addiction and overdose crisis took a major step forward Tuesday.
Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported Wednesday. That estimate far eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29% increase.
Opioid-related overdoses in Cook County increased by more than 40% last year. While this spike began in December 2019 — before COVID-19 was widespread — the pandemic accelerated the trend. We discuss the state of the opioid epidemic in the Chicago area.
A corner of West Virginia wrenched by opioid addiction is getting the chance to argue in a courtroom that some of the corporate giants it blames for a public health crisis that left hundreds of people dead deserve to be held accountable.
New guidelines announced Tuesday mean doctors and other health workers will no longer need extra hours of training to prescribe buprenorphine, a gold standard medicine that helps with cravings.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office handled a record 16,049 deaths in 2020, with coronavirus-related deaths accounting for more than half of those cases, according to officials.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis has worsened in Cook County, with more than 1,500 opiate-related deaths this year. To try and bring these numbers down, some groups see telehealth as an accessible way to bring treatment to people.
With suburban Cook County on track to exceed 2,000 opioid overdose deaths this year, officials announce a program to address the “silent epidemic” that will connect people with treatment.
Purdue Pharma will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges as part of a settlement of more than $8 billion, Justice Department officials told The Associated Press.
Monday is Overdose Awareness Day, an annual event aimed at reducing drug-related deaths and the stigma of substance use disorders. And it comes this year amid a dramatic spike in opioid-related overdoses and deaths in Chicago.
COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities, but the opioid crisis is also taking a “devastating toll” on Chicago-area residents this year, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.
The impact of the coronavirus is being felt in nearly every aspect of daily life, but it’s not the only health crisis people are facing. “Addiction can kill you as well,” said Aaron Weiner, a local addiction services director.
Flushing unused or expired prescription drugs down the toilet is “neither safe nor responsible,” says one local official. A new bill would establish convenient statewide locations for their collection instead.
A federal agent who was at a Chicago airport to search a private plane that rapper Juice WRLD and his entourage had arrived in administered the opioid antidote Narcan to the performer, who briefly woke up incoherent but later died, authorities said Monday.