Heroin

Health
8:01 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Pennsylvania Gets 'B' on Pain Medication Report Card

When it comes to prescribing pain medications for patients with chronic diseases, Pennsylvania is doing OK – but could be doing better.

That’s according to the 2013 "Achieving Balance in State Pain Policy: A Progress Report Card," which gave the commonwealth a “B” grade.

The report card was created by the University of Wisconsin Pain & Policy Studies Group and was funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), its Cancer Action Network (CAN) and LIVESTRONG.

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Prescription Drug Addiction
12:18 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Task Force Tackles Prescription Drug Addiction in PA

Health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every adult in the U.S. to have a bottle of pills, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gary Tennis, secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), said that since 2000, prescription drug and heroin overdoses have quadrupled. 

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Health
3:30 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Pennsylvania Ranks High In Painkiller Prescriptions

Injured workers in Pennsylvania receive stronger painkillers per claim than the average state. That's according to a report released this month by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

According to the study, the average injured Pennsylvania worker gets about 2,745 milligrams of a morphine equivalent narcotic per claim. That’s 32 to 48 percent more than workers in the average state.

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Health
1:26 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Corbett Launches Heroin Working Group, Sets September Deadline

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is hoping a newly formed working group will be able to turn the tide of heroin overdose deaths in the Commonwealth. 

Corbett is calling for the working group, which will be chaired by Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Gary Tennis, to put a report on his desk by September.

“Yes I know that’s an aggressive time frame and I know that’s across the summer,” Corbett said.  “We don’t have the time to wait.”

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Painkillers
4:40 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

State Rep ‘Outraged’ at FDA, Drafts Bill to Restrict Zohydro

A painkiller that has five to ten times more opioid than any other drug on the market was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year, and a Pennsylvania lawmaker isn’t happy.

Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks County) is sponsoring a bill that would regulate the use of Zohydro, a pure formulation of hydrocodone, in Pennsylvania. The drug was approved by the FDA, even though its medical board voted 11 to 2 against it.

“The FDA went over the heads of their own medical board and approved this,” DiGirolamo said.

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Public Safety
3:00 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

PA District Attorneys Push For Legislation They Say Will Combat Heroin, RX Drugs Overdoses

Allegheny County Medical Examiner Karl Williams said overdose deaths are at an all-time high, and he's seen an increase in those involving prescription drugs. District attorneys from across the state are pushing for passage of a bill that would monitor certain prescription drugs.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

District attorneys from across the state gathered at a Pittsburgh rehabilitation center Thursday, pushing for Senate passage of a bill they said would combat the growing heroin epidemic. That epidemic, they said, is tied directly to an increase in the abuse of prescription drugs.

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Government & Politics
4:41 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Casey Pushing For Drug Abuse Legislation

Saying Pennsylvania is in a prescription and drug abuse crisis, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) is pushing for legislation to study and fight opioid abuse.

The Prescription Drug Abuse Act would include training for practitioners, state grants for drug abuse education, and the creation of a national registry to track opioid related deaths.

Pennsylvania has the third highest rate of heroin abuse in the U.S. and ranks 14th in drug overdose mortality, according to state Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

Casey said the state’s drug abuse problem is too large to ignore.

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Health
3:58 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Town Hall Discusses Heroin, Drug Use in Wake of Overdose Deaths

Following the recent rash of deaths linked to heroin laced with fentanyl, the Pennsylvania Alliance for Safe and Drug-Free Children is holding a town hall Thursday night geared toward parents.

There have been 14 deaths in Allegheny County linked to the drug, with more in surrounding counties. This, along with the high-profile death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from a suspected heroin overdose, is prompting the organization to reach out to those close to people who may be vulnerable to drug addiction, particularly youth.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:14 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Heroin Addiction & the Social Stigma of Rehab

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The recent rash of deaths from heroin laced with fentanyl, and the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman have brought attention to the need for more efficient clinical treatment for drug addiction.

Gateway Rehab Medical Director Dr. Neil Capretto works with addicts and talked about what a relapse can mean to someone trying to conquer their dependency.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:30 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Details on Local Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Overdoses

State police are still trying to track down the source of a drug that has killed as many as 23 people in Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler and Westmoreland Counties, based on data released Friday by the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office.

There have been 14 deaths in Allegheny county in which victims tested positive for both heroin and Fentanyl, a powerful analgesic used to treat cancer patients.

90.5 WESA reporter Liz Reid has been following the story and says leading up to January 24th, the County Medical Examiner saw one opiate overdose death per day, which was not considered abnormal, but he became concerned when that number jumped to 3 in one day, on Friday and 4 more that Saturday.

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Public Safety
10:19 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

6 Charged With Possessing Deadly Heroin

At least a half-dozen people have been charged by authorities in and around Pittsburgh with possessing heroin that is stamped with street names linked to drugs that investigators believe have caused 22 fatal overdoses in recent weeks.

After police had announced five previous arrests, on Thursday Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced similar charges against 39-year-old Tywon Laniel Newby of Clairton. Newby is being held at the Allegheny County Jail, unable to post $250,000 bond. No attorney was listed on court papers.

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Health
12:17 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Allegheny Co. Trying to Prevent Further Heroin Overdoses After Rash of Deaths

Health officials are warning that an extremely dangerous brand of heroin is making the rounds in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties.

Twenty-two people have died in the past week in western Pennsylvania from a suspected overdose of a mix of heroin and the powerful narcotic fentanyl, according to Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner says they’ve found “stamp bags” labeled with the words “Theraflu,” “Bud Ice” and “Income Tax” at the scenes of the overdoses.

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Public Safety
1:56 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Drug Bust in Wilkinsburg Nets 18 Arrests and 13,500 Bags of Heroin

Eighteen people alleged to have ties to a violent drug gang based in Wilkinsburg have been arrested in what is being called a major bust. The suspected drug dealers were taken into custody as part of a joint effort involving the PA Attorney General's Organized Crime Section and the Allegheny County Police.

The "Operation Wilkinsburg Crew" was launched, according to Attorney General Kathleen Kane, in reaction to a series of homicides and shootings in Wilkinsburg believed to be related to heroin trafficking.

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Pennsylvania
1:34 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Police: Pa. Boy Calls 911 After Dad, Grandma OD

NEW BRIGHTON, Pa. — Police have charged a man and his mother with endangering a 10-year-old boy who called 911 when they passed out at home while allegedly using heroin.

The Beaver County Times reports police found both adults unresponsive when they arrived Friday evening.

Online court records don't list attorneys for 34-year-old Chad Kiser and 52-year-old Ginger Ray Foust of New Brighton. The boy is Kiser's son and Foust's grandson.

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