A Park City police detective is being credited with saving two overdose victims in less than a week, as the number of those revived from overdoses through emergency use of the drug naloxone in Lake County continues to grow.
On Monday, Ken Stoves was among officers responding to a call of a possible overdose victim in a home on Devonshire Lane. Stoves successfully administered naloxone, which revives victims of opiate overdoses, to a man who was not breathing, police said.
After about a minute, the man began breathing again and regained consciousness, according to Park City Police Chief Walter Holderbaum.
Lake County Board membersLinda Pedersen(District 1) andTom Weber(District 3), in participation with States AttorneyMike Nerheim, presented a panel discussion on Heroin and Opioid Awareness. The two hour forum included panel members Dr. Adam Rubinstein,Bruce Johnson, Lake Villa Police ChiefCraig Somerville,Steve Lunardi Jr.,Kevin Kaminski, andTerri Bartlett.
Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim who is the Co-founder of theLake County Opioid Initiative(LCOI) moderated the forum. The panel members spoke for about and hour and then answered questions submitted by the audience for an additional 45 minutes before making their closing remarks.
The LCOI was co-founded by State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim, Chelsea Laliberte who is Executive Director of Live4Lali, Bruce Johnson who is Chief Executive Officer of NICASA Behavioral Health Services, Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko who is also the Commander of the Lake County Major Crimes Taskforce, Kathleen Kane-Willis who is Director of the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy at Roosevelt University, and Stephanie Schmitz-Bechteler.
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In 2012 health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers — equaling a bottle of pills per American adult —according to data released by the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention on Tuesday.
CDC Director Tom Frieden said in the agency’s July Vital Signs telebriefing that in this past decade, the number of prescriptions written have increased by 400 percent. With the surge in painkiller prescriptions, the U.S. has also seen an increase in deaths due to opioid and narcotic painkiller overdoses.
The agency reported the “overdose epidemic” in 2012, with increased death rates in several states from the late 1990s. In 2010 women had five times the number of prescription drug overdoses than they did in 1999. In 2011 prescription painkiller overdoses surpassed deaths from heroin and cocaine combined
“We know that overdose deaths tend to be higher where opioids get heavier use,” Frieden said. “So you can see really two correlations. One, over time, over the past decade or more, there’s been a dramatic increase in the amount of opioids prescribed and two, across the country, there are dramatic differences.”
One difference is in painkiller prescriptions by state, with some state health care providers prescribing painkillers up to three times more frequently than others. Ten of the highest prescribing states are concentrated in the South.
“What type of pain treatment you get shouldn’t depend on where you live but on the condition that you have,” Frieden said.
CDC reported that health care providers across the country do not have a collective prescribing guideline, leading to regional disparities. However, Florida was able to reduce prescriptions and subsequently reduce painkiller overdoses rates. In 2010 and 2011 the state implemented stricter laws to stop health care providers from dispensing painkillers at regulated pain clinics. Prescriptions declined by 50 percent and deaths from prescription opioid drugs decreased by over a 25 percent. Its overall drug abuse rates have decreased by 17 percent in only two years.
CDC supports state collaborations to create a set of prescribing guidelines, while providing information to physicians about the risks of overprescribing.
This Fourth of July Family, friends, food and fireworks are all words that are synonymous with an iconic American holiday- the Fourth of July. However, many Americans celebrate Independence Day with alcohol, making the Fourth of July one of the most deadly days of the year on the nation’s roads. Many communities are stepping up police presence in accordance with the ongoing ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ enforcement crackdown.
Thanks to startling statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the extra police protection should be unanimously supported by those communities. According to NHTSA, the percentage of fatalities from impaired driving dramatically increases around the Fourth of July.
In 2011, 251 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Of those fatalities, 38 percent were in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08 grams per deciliter – the legal intoxication limit in all 50 states.
Over the Fourth of July holiday in 2011, more than half of the young drivers killed in alcohol-related crashes were operating their vehicles while drunk. Thanks to the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ safety campaign, local police will be out in force throughout this Independence Day, on the lookout for motorists who have had too much alcohol to be behind the wheel of a vehicle.
These impaired drivers not only pose a threat to themselves, but also to everyone else on the road. Their negligence causes accidents, injuries, and potentially death. What can you do to be safe this Fourth of July holiday?
Follow these simple tips:
Do not let someone you know who has had too much to drink get behind the wheel! Take their keys and arrange another way for them to get home. – For more information, please visit National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!
State governors, legislatures and law enforcement across the country are scrambling to respond to the resurgence of heroin, USA Today reports.
“It’s really on the top of everyone’s radar from a public health perspective,” said Thomas MacLellan, Director of Homeland Security and Public Safety for the National Governors Association.
New heroin bills were introduced in at least 18 state legislatures, the article notes. The measures range from leniency for low-level heroin offenders, to permitting easier access to the opioid overdose antidote naloxone. Some states are considering tougher sentences for drug trafficking involving heroin.
Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts declared a public health emergency earlier this year, after deaths from heroin and opioid drugs rose more than 90 percent since 2002. The state will spend $10 million to create a court diversion system to provide treatment for non-violent drug offenders. Massachusetts will also devote an additional $20 million to the state’s drug treatment system.
Governor John Kasich of Ohio agreed to enroll his state in a Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act in response to the heroin crisis, according to the newspaper. Kasich, a Republican, decided to accept federal assistance despite the political consequences, because of the drug’s toll on state residents.
In January, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said his state is suffering from a “full-blown heroin crisis.” In his State of the State Message, Governor Shumlin said he wants officials to respond to addiction as a chronic disease. He focused his entire speech on drug addiction and its consequences.
Advocates in a number of states are pushing for changes to laws to allow families to petition courts to intervene and order addiction and rehab treatment for loved ones addicted to heroin, even if they have no criminal record.
America, we’ve got a problem: More than 100 people die each day in the U.S. because of prescription drugs.
America is in the throes of a prescription drug epidemic. More people die every day from that addiction than gunshot wounds, car accidents, or suicide—with 100 people losing their lives daily as a result of misusing medication.