drug abuse

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Drug overdose deaths in Oklahoma increased 91 percent over the last decade and a half, prompting the state to form a task force charged with a daunting goal: Brainstorm a plan to guide the state out of an opioid epidemic that kills three Oklahomans nearly every day.

The Commission on Opioid Abuse released its final report in January.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about lawmakers suspending the special session until a bargain can be made on how to fix the state budget, the Department of Corrections gets blow back from a state lawmaker as it works to reduce overcrowding in state prisons and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt spends $25,000 on a sound proof phone booth for his office.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is taking umbrage at President Trump's apparent characterization of his state as "a drug-infested den." And not surprisingly, he isn't the only one who's angry.

The remark was contained in a transcript published Thursday of a telephone conversation between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Two summers ago, we met a woman who went by the name Teacup.

"I'm an active heroin user," she told us. "Thirty-three years as a matter of fact."

Claire Donnelly / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is suing more than a dozen U.S. drug manufacturers.

The lawsuit names Purdue Pharma, Inc., Allergan PLC, Cephalon, Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. among other companies. It was filed in Cleveland County District Court Friday morning.

The suit argues the companies were "deceptive" and "misleading" when marketing opioids to Oklahoma doctors, by exaggerating the drugs’ effectiveness and downplaying the danger of opioid addiction.

Republicans in both the House and the Senate are considering big cuts to Medicaid. But those cuts endanger addiction treatment, which many people receive through the government health insurance program.

As the nation’s opioid addiction and overdose crisis grows, the Cherokee Nation is launching the first-ever lawsuit against drug distributors that will be litigated in a tribal court.

The suit takes on companies including pharmacies CVS Health, Walgreens and Wal-Mart, and drug distributors Cardinal Health, Inc. and McKesson Corporation, alleging that they didn’t properly monitor prescription painkillers, which eventually “flooded” every Cherokee county.

The Cherokee Nation is suing top drug distributors and pharmacies — including Wal-Mart — alleging they profited greatly by "flooding" communities in Oklahoma with prescription painkillers, leading to the deaths of hundreds of tribal members.

Hannah Berkowitz is 20 years old. When she was a senior in high school her life flew off the rails.

She was getting high on whatever drugs she could get her hands on. She was suicidal. Berkowitz moved into a therapeutic boarding school to get sober, but could only stay sober while she was on campus during the week.

"I'd come home and try to stay sober really hard — really, really hard," says Berkowitz. "Sometimes I'd make it through the weekend, and sometimes I just couldn't make it. It was white-knuckling it, just holding on."

When Donald Trump won the presidential election, he made a pledge to every citizen: that he would be president for all Americans. In the weeks before Trump's inauguration, we're going to hear about some of the communities that make up this nation, from the people who know them best, in our series Finding America.

In Roane County, Tenn., the legal and personal costs of the opioid epidemic collide at the county courthouse.

Pages