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August 10, 2021 Opioid Addiction0

San Mateo County files lawsuit against McKinsey & Company, alleging that the consulting firm helped push opioid sales in the county.

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP, the law firm representing the county, alleges that McKinsey helped opioid manufacturers increase drug sales by serving as marketing advisor to companies like Purdue Pharma. Purdue Pharma makes OxyContin, a prescription pain medication commonly involved in opioid overdose deaths.

The lawsuit also claims that McKinsey helped Purdue protect its public image and helped suppress negative press from the families of overdose victims.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency in 2017 amid a rise in opioid-related overdose deaths. In 2019, more than 70 percent of drug overdose deaths nationwide involved an opioid, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In San Mateo County, the number of deaths from opioids has steadily increased in recent years. County data shows that in 2015, there were 60 drug-induced deaths, with about 20 directly tied to opioid use. Doctors wrote nearly 350,000 opioid prescriptions in the county that year.

In the next two years, the number of drug and opioid-related deaths increased countywide and county health officials estimate that thousands of residents are dependent on opioids.
Purdue Pharma has already faced scrutiny and pleaded guilty in 2020 to criminal charges related to its role in the opioid crisis.

The county’s complaint against McKinsey, dated Tuesday, states that “McKinsey knew of the dangers of opioids, and of Purdue’s misconduct, but nonetheless advised and encouraged Purdue to improperly market and sell OxyContin.”

Dealing with the epidemic has also cost the county millions of dollars for expenses related to drug treatment, emergency room visits, law enforcement and social services such as helping children whose parents are addicted to opioids.

San Mateo County Counsel John Beiers said, “This lawsuit is a continuation of our efforts to pursue the corporate bad actors who have caused the opioid epidemic.”

Read Full article on CBS Local


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July 29, 2021 Opioid Addiction0

Mighty Ducks” star Shaun Weiss is making strides in his recovery. The former actor graduated from a drug court program this week in California, the Yuba County District Attorney’s Office announced.

The graduation also means Weiss’s burglary case in the county has been dismissed. He was arrested in Marysville, Calif., last January for breaking into a person’s garage and gaining entry into their car.

The accomplishment follows a turbulent period for Weiss, who in recent years has faced a number of hurdles amid a struggle with addiction. He first entered into the Yuba County Drug Court program on March 3, 2020.

‘MIGHTY DUCKS’ STAR SHAUN WEISS SOBER FOR OVER 200 DAYS, SHOWS OFF TRANSFORMATION WITH NEW TEETH

The Yuba County DA’s Office praised him for his recovery in statements shared to agency’s Facebook account.

“Shaun demonstrated perseverance during his recovery complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. He had to move treatment and transitional living programs on several occasions. He underwent dental reconstructive surgery, and had a close family member suffer a serious accident during his treatment,” the agency wrote in a statement.

“Shaun regained employment and has been traveling across the country making guest appearances and signing autographs. He received tremendous support from friends and fans of the character, Goldberg, he played in the 1992 hit ‘The Mighty Ducks,'” the statement continues.

Photos that were released of the actor last fall showed a much happier and healthier Weiss. In honor of reaching his 200 days of sobriety in September, a close friend named Drew Gallagher shared a photo of Weiss, then 42, looking virtually unrecognizable as compared to his mug shot stemming from an arrest in January. He showed off his brand new set of teeth in the pic.

‘MIGHTY DUCKS’ STAR SHAUN WEISS APPEARS HEALTHIER IN NEW PIC, PAL SAYS HE’S ‘THRIVING’ IN REHAB

“Weiss is thriving. His face and mouth feels like ‘tenderized meat’ as he recovers from each oral surgery, but he is feeling blessed to be getting a new set of permanent teeth. His progress has been smooth and steady and he is well over 225 days sober. More pics and video soon,” Gallagher wrote on Facebook.


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July 22, 2021 Uncategorized0

States unveiled a historic $26 billion settlement with drug companies to resolve thousands of opioid-crisis lawsuits, paving the way for communities across the country to secure a jolt of funding to address an epidemic in painkiller addiction that hasn’t abated.

The nation’s three largest drug distributors—McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen Corp., and Cardinal Health Inc.—and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson have been negotiating the deal for more than two years, but Wednesday’s announcement signifies an important milestone that could clear the way for money to be received by states as soon as early next year.

States can’t use the money to fill general budget holes, as they did after a $206 billion deal with tobacco companies in the 1990s. Instead, the majority must be spent on social services to address the harms of opioid addiction, like treatment programs, education on how to dispose of pills and needles, and bolstered funds for first responders. One community may use it to help a large problem of addiction in the homeless population, while another may be more focused on opioid-addicted babies.

“It won’t be used to fill potholes, or build libraries, or balance budgets,” said Paul Geller, a plaintiffs’ lawyer representing several cities and counties involved in the deal.

Individuals and families who have been affected by opioid abuse won’t receive any money directly.
An opioid crisis that has claimed half a million lives in the U.S. has triggered more than 3,000 lawsuits filed by states, local governments, Native American tribes, hospital groups and others against players in the pharmaceutical industry. The lawsuits allege drugmakers pushed their painkillers for uses far beyond what was medically necessary and that distributors and pharmacies didn’t do enough to halt masses of pills from flowing into communities.

D rug addiction got worse during the pandemic, with opioid overdose deaths up about 37% in 2020 from the prior year, according to government data. 

The companies pushed back, saying they made and distributed a medically necessary and federally regulated product. But at the same time, the burdens of litigation—like turning over millions of internal documents, making employees available for depositions, and preparing for complex trials that could air embarrassing details—has sent many of the companies to the negotiating table.

The attorneys general from Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Louisiana, Delaware and Connecticut jointly announced the completed deal Wednesday, which had been rumored earlier this week. 

Read Original Article about $26 Billion Settlement on Apple News


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June 28, 2021 Opioid Addiction0

Opioid Business has ended for Johnson and Johnson after a settlement has been reached with New York State

  • New York Attorney General’s office said the agreement bans J&J from promoting opioids through any means and prohibits lobbying about such products at the federal, state or local levels.
  • However, Johnson & Johnson said it had already exited the business.
  • As part of the settlement, the company will resolve opioids-related claims and allocate payments over nine years.
  • The settlement follows years of lawsuits by states, cities and counties against major pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis, which has killed nearly 500,000 people in the U.S. since 1999.

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to a $230 million settlement with New York state that bars the company from promoting opioids and confirmed it has ended distribution of such products within the United States.

New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office in a statement Saturday said the agreement bans J&J from promoting opioids through any means and prohibits lobbying about such products at the federal, state or local levels.

Johnson & Johnson has not marketed opioids in the U.S. since 2015 and fully discontinued the business in 2020.

As part of the settlement, the company will resolve opioids-related claims and allocate payments over nine years. It could also pay $30 million more in the first year if the state executive chamber signs into law new legislation creating an opioid settlement fund, according to the press release from James’ office.

The settlement follows years of lawsuits by states, cities and counties against major pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis, which has killed nearly 500,000 people in the U.S. in the last couple decades.

Governments have argued that companies over-prescribed the drugs, causing people to become addicted and abuse other illegal forms of opioids, while companies have said they’ve distributed the necessary amount of the product to help people with medical issues.

“The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on countless communities across New York state and the rest of the nation, leaving millions still addicted to dangerous and deadly opioids,” James said in a statement.

Read Full Article on CNBC


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April 9, 2021 Drug Addiction0

DMX, the raspy-voiced US hip-hop artist who produced the songs Ruff Ryders’ Anthem and Party Up (Up in Here) and who rapped with a trademark delivery that was often paired with growls, barks and “What!” as an ad-lib, has died, according to a statement from his family. American Rapper Earl Simmons, also known as DMX dies at the age of 50.

The influential rapper’s death was announced on Friday (April 9) after reportedly suffering an overdose that resulted in a heart attack on April 2.

The legendary rapper’s team in a press statement on Friday, said: “We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50-years-old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days. Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end.

“He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time.

“Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.”

Source – DMX dies at 50: Newswire NGR


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October 12, 2020 Weekly Hope1

It is easy to let anxiety consume every waking moment when we live with an active addict. I felt a false sense of control and became anxious when I thought the addict in my life was going to use.


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October 12, 2020 Alcohol Addiction0

If you find you’re drinking more alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic or starting to drink alone, you’re—well, not alone. Maybe you used to drink only occasionally, but now it feels like there’s permission to make drinking a daily ritual. I stopped drinking a few years back, but if I still drank, I can almost guarantee I’d be leaning on alcohol right now, and feeling nervous if my supply were running low. At certain moments recently the idea of a drink sounded pretty good to me for the first time in a long time.

Working from home makes it even easier to turn to alcohol in the evening (or earlier). Why not have a drink (or three) every night when you don’t have to get up early to make yourself presentable and get to work on time? Pouring a drink can be especially appealing after a stressful day, which is pretty much every day now.

But what if you’re not entirely comfortable with your recent pattern of alcohol use, and part of you worries it might become a real issue? Even if you’ve never had a problem with drinking, you might be concerned about the long-term effects, and whether you’ll be able to step away from this higher level of consumption once the pandemic is behind us.

If you suspect your relationship with alcohol is moving in an unhealthy direction, don’t be hard on yourself. Turning to familiar ways of coping is a common and understandable response to this bewildering situation. As you’re assessing your relationship with alcohol, look for the following warning signs that your drinking may be going too far:

It’s escalating: You find that you’re drinking a bit more each week, drinking more nights during the week, or starting earlier in the day. Or maybe you’re experiencing hangovers more often or they’re lasting longer into the day. You might also consistently drink more than you were planning to, or drink on days when you’d planned to abstain.

It’s becoming a preoccupation: Perhaps you fantasize about what you’ll drink and can hardly wait to get started. You start thinking about your first drink hours before you intend to drink, imagining how blissful it will feel.

It’s crowding out other activities: Drinking starts to become your main leisure activity, taking away from other possibilities you used to enjoy.

It’s interfering: You’re not as effective in your work, or you’re skipping other activities because of drinking (e.g., being too hungover to exercise). Or maybe your drinking is leading to tension in your relationship.
Others are concerned: The people close to you may notice you’re drinking more, and have expressed their concern or asked you to cut down. People are generally reluctant to confront a loved one about their drinking, so if someone tell you they’re worried, it’s probably a reasonable concern.

  • You feel defensive: If someone does say they’re concerned about your drinking, you bristle and become angry. Maybe you try to turn the tables, pointing out their problematic behaviors and trying to take the focus off yourself.
  • You’re being secretive: You might make yourself strong mixed drinks so it’s harder for others to know how much alcohol you’re having, or you try to prevent them from knowing how many drinks you’re having.
  • So how to avoid developing a serious problem with alcohol? The only surefire approach is to avoid drinking altogether, but the following recommendations can lower the risk. In general, these preventive measures are the flip side of the risk factors.

Build other coping skills. Drinking is less likely to turn into your only means of coping if you have other techniques you can turn to. Through regular practice you’ll have access to options besides alcohol for managing stress and anxiety, and you’ll carry these skills with you when the crisis is over. Here are two practices that can bookend your day (adapted from the forthcoming CBT Deck for Anxiety, Rumination, & Worry).

Ease into the Day: Stress hormones like cortisol surge as you’re waking up for the day, preparing you for the challenges ahead. However, they can also trigger a spike in anxiety first thing in the morning. When you wake up tomorrow, notice if you’re holding onto any unnecessary tension in the body. Is it possible to let it go, even a little? Greet the day in a state of focused calm.

Bedtime Breaths: When you get into bed this evening, take 10 slow, cleansing breaths to release the day’s stress and activity. With each exhale, let go of anything you’re holding onto from your day, and relax fully into your mattress. Sense that this time and place are devoted to rest and renewal. Place a note by your bedside to remind you of this practice when you go to bed.

Be honest with yourself and open with others. Avoid the problems that come with secrecy by resolving to be open with someone close to you about your drinking. Be honest with yourself, too, about the state of your drinking, and acknowledge if it seems to be trending toward trouble territory.

Don’t drink alone—or with heavy drinkers. Part of staying accountable with drinking is not doing it alone. It might be hard to avoid solo drinking right now if you live alone, so arrange for virtual meet-ups over a drink. Just be careful about your drinking partners, who can strongly influence your level of consumption. Avoid those who drink heavily, and look for relationships that emphasize the quality of connection over the drinking element.

Maintain the important parts of your life. Letting areas of your life slide can put you in a hole you’ll have to dig out of when this crisis is passed, which could make alcohol an even more attractive alternative. Keeping up with your work responsibilities, relationships, and non-alcohol-related leisure activities will lower the odds of over-relying on alcohol.

Have non-drinking days. The more consistently you practice a behavior, the more automatic it becomes. Break your drinking streak to restore a level of choice in whether you drink, and to show yourself you can do it. Commit with a loved one to share non-drinking days, and make a point to spend time together on those days. You might learn something valuable about yourself when you don’t give in to the urge to drink—for example, discovering more about the emotions behind the urges.

If you’re wondering whether to change your drinking behavior, take care to ask yourself the right question. Most commonly we’ll ask ourselves if we’re “addicted” or if we’re “an alcoholic,” but those questions are usually too black-or-white to offer meaningful answers. The better question is, “Is the way I’m drinking a net positive in my life?” If not, talk with someone you love and trust about the concerns you have. Explore with them whether it’s time to change your relationship with alcohol, and how they might support you along the way.

Please note that it is dangerous to quit drinking alcohol cold turkey if you’re drinking heavily. Consult with your doctor about a safe plan for reducing alcohol consumption.

Original Article on WebMD


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