Though painkillers are prescribed by physicians, opioid side effects can be serious and life-threatening. Prescription opioid use has quadrupled since 1999, prompting a heavy increase of abuse and requiring widespread opioid addiction help. 


U.S. market: 1996



Side Effects

Addiction and abuse

Read more about Opioids

Rite Aid pharmacy building representing the Rite Aid opioid bankruptcy proceedings.

Rite Aid Opioid Bankruptcy Contested by ...

MedTruth Editors · November 28, 2023

Rite Aid claims that the DOJ’s request could irrevocably cripple the company and prevent it from restructuring successfully.

Legal Developments
Person shaking pills out of a pill bottle representing the Suboxone antritrust suit settled by Indivior.

Suboxone Monopoly Suit Settled by Indivior

MedTruth Editors · November 16, 2023

According to the lawsuit, Indivior undertook a series of actions that ensured that the company could maintain a monopoly of their drug Suboxone.

Bankruptcy documents similar to those filed by Johnson & Johnson in another attempt to settle their opioid burdens.

Third Talc Bankruptcy Suggested by J&J

MedTruth Editors · November 3, 2023

After receiving two rejections, Johnson & Johnson is seeking bankruptcy protection for its opioid subsidiary for a third time while their second dismissal is being presented to the Supreme Court.

Squad cars parked on the side of the road like those purchased using opioid settlement funds.
Photo by Matteo Modica

Opioid Settlement Funds Spent on Police Spark Controversy

MedTruth Editors · October 31, 2023

As opioid settlement funds become available, a controversy has arisen about how much of those funds should be made available to the police.

Legal Developments
Rite Aid pharmacy representing the company's involvement in the distribution of opioids.

Rite Aid Seeks Financial Aid in Opioid Bankruptcy Proceeding

MedTruth Editors · October 23, 2023

Rite Aid has been caught up along with a number of other pharmacies and retail entities in the latest wave of lawsuits that are intended to hold accountable all parties who contributed to the opioid epidemic

Legal Developments
Tennessee State Capitol Building representing the AG settling opioid claims with Food City.

TN AG Settles Opioid Claims With Food City

MedTruth Editors · October 3, 2023

In addition to paying out, the settlement would require K-VA-T and Food City to adjust employee conduct.

Doctor prescribing opioids representing the Kroger opioid settlement payout.

Kroger Opioid Settlement Could Begin Paying Out This Year

MedTruth Editors · September 19, 2023

Kroger is offering states and municipalities $1.2 billion and offering Native American tribes $36 million to fund opioid abatement programs.

Legal Developments
Image of a Rite Aid pharmacy representing Rite Aid possibly filing for bankruptcy over opioid lawsuits.

Rite Aid May File for Bankruptcy Over Opioid Lawsuits

MedTruth Editors · September 15, 2023

The pharmacy chain could file for bankruptcy to potentially escape opioid lawsuits, including over 1,000 federal lawsuits.

Judge holding a gavel in court representing the opioid bankruptcy settlement reviewed by the supreme court.

Opioid Bankruptcy Settlement to be Reviewed by Supreme Court

MedTruth Editors · August 22, 2023

The Office of the U.S. Trustee issued a formal complaint about the settlement, arguing that the deal protects the Sackler Family.

Laws + Congress
Image of the Department of Justice building representing the DOJ attempting to stop the opioid bankruptcy settlement that would shield the Sackler family.

DOJ Moves to Stop Opioid Bankruptcy Settlement

MedTruth Editors · August 10, 2023

The DOJ is taking the case to the Supreme Court in an effort to prevent a bankruptcy plan that would shield the Sackler family from opioid lawsuits.

Legal Developments
Texas flag representing the Texas opioid settlement.

TX AG Reaches $340 Million Opioid Settlement

MedTruth Editors · June 6, 2023

This settlement joins with settlements in California, West Virginia, and other states that are pursuing opioid manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies.

San Francisco city view from above representing Walgreens found liable for contributing to the opioid epidemic.

San Francisco Closes $230 Million Opioid Settlement

MedTruth Editors · May 30, 2023

Walgreens was found liable for contributing to the opioid epidemic in San Francisco and will pay hundreds of millions of dollars to the city.

West Virginia flag representing the opioid lawsuit settled between the state and Kroger for contributing to the opioid epidemic.

West Virginia Settles Opioid Lawsuit With Final Defendant

MedTruth Editors · May 16, 2023

Kroger was one of several defendants accused by the state of West Virginia of contributing to an oversupply of prescription opioids.

Legal Developments
A doctor prescribing opioids representing illegal opioid distribution.

DOJ Charges Doctor With Illegal Opioid Distribution

MedTruth Editors · April 20, 2023

The U.S. DOJ has charged Dr. Okafor with 16 counts of illegal distribution of opioids. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 160 years in prison, 20 years for each count.

Image of Rite Aid pharmacy representing the DOJ suing Rite Aid over opioid prescriptions.

DOJ Sues Rite Aid Over Opioid Prescriptions

MedTruth Editors · March 23, 2023

The complaint alleges that Rite Aid repeatedly ignored red flags while fulfilling prescription orders for opioids.

Row of prescription drug bottles representing the opioid executive funneling large amounts of opioids into pharmacies.

Opioid Executive Sentenced for Criminal Conspiracy

MedTruth Editors · March 16, 2023

Laurence F. Doud directed large amounts of opioids into pharmacies throughout the Northeastern U.S. despite knowing that the pharmacies were using the narcotics to fuel opioid addictions.

Photo of Kroger Atlanta GA representing the West Virginia Opioid suit down to Kroger being the final defendant.

WV Opioid Suit Down to Final Defendant

MedTruth Editors · February 2, 2023

AG Morrisey announced that he signed an $83 million settlement agreement with Walgreens, leaving Kroger as the sole remaining defendant to not settle.

Legal Developments
AmerisourceBergen Pharmaceutical Distribution Center representing the opioid distribution lawsuit.

Opioid Distribution Lawsuit Filed Against AmerisourceBergen

MedTruth Editors · January 20, 2023

The company allegedly failed to notify the government of the distribution of hundreds of thousands of prescribed opioid medicines supplied to pharmacies.

Image of Walmart headquarters representing the company proposing an opioid settlement.

Walmart Proposes $3 Billion Opioid Settlement

MedTruth Editors · December 2, 2022

Walmart is willing to pay $3.1 billion to settle claims that it failed to curb the dispensing of opioid drugs at its pharmacies throughout the country.

Legal Developments
A gloved hand holding a Naloxone nasal injector representing the FDA exploring approving OTC naloxone products.

FDA Explores Approving OTC Naloxone Products

MedTruth Editors · December 1, 2022

Narcan, a medication that prevents opioid overdose deaths, may be available over the counter in the future.

FDA Regulation
A pharmacist talking to a patient representing CVS & Walgreens opioid settlement.

CVS & Walgreens Issue Preliminary Opioid Settlement of $10 Billion

MedTruth Editors · November 10, 2022

CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens have issued preliminary deals to settle thousands of lawsuits filed over their alleged failure to enforce their own opioid distribution policies.

Legal Developments
Woman taking opioid pills representing the Cherokee nation settling opioid lawsuit with Walmart.

Cherokee Nation Settles Opioid Lawsuit With Walmart

MedTruth Editors · October 20, 2022

The settlement resolves litigation over the chain retailer’s alleged role in contributing to the opioid epidemic on the tribe’s reservation.

Legal Developments
Image of a Walgreens store at night representing the company's role in fueling the Opioid issue in San Francisco.

Judge Finds Walgreens Liable For Opioid Distribution

MedTruth Editors · August 23, 2022

Walgreens was found guilty of filling illegitimate opioid prescriptions, contributing to the severe narcotics abuse issues in San Francisco.

An oxycodone label representing the opioids that Teva allegedly produced.

Teva Accused of Minimizing Its Part in Opioid Epidemic

MedTruth Editors · July 20, 2022

New York AG Letitia James claims that Teva headquarters downplayed its direction of Teva US to avoid legal consequences.

Legal Developments
A person pouring pills into hand representing Teva and Allergan settling West Virginia opioid lawsuit.

Teva & Allergan Settle WV Opioid Lawsuit For Over $160 Million

MedTruth Editors · June 15, 2022

The trial accused manufactures of intensifying the opioid epidemic by grossly understating the risks of the highly-addictive painkillers.

Legal Developments
Man taking pills representing the opioid settlement increasing by $46 million.

Opioid Settlement Increased by $46 Million

MedTruth Editors · May 17, 2022

Washington state's attorney general has secured a $518 million settlement from opioid manufactures.

Legal Developments
Woman taking opioid pills representing Walgreens Opioid Lawsuit Settled For $683 Million.

Walgreens Opioid Lawsuit Settled For $683 Million

MedTruth Editors · May 11, 2022

The state of Florida has reached a settlement with Walgreens over the drug store’s alleged role in contributing to the opioid epidemic.

Legal Developments
Illustration of doctor holding pills and patient holding pill representing the new FDA opioid safety initiative.

FDA Proposes New Opioid Safety Initiative

MedTruth Editors · April 28, 2022

This new initiative would provide another avenue to traditional opioid disposal methods.

FDA Regulation
Empty courtroom representing the opioid MDL growth halted.

Opioid MDL Growth Halted

MedTruth Editors · April 19, 2022

The window to join the massive MDL in Northern Ohio has been officially closed by the JPML.

Legal Developments
Men in suits shaking hands representing the Sackler Family opioid deal.

New Opioid Plan Increases Penalties for Sacklers

MedTruth Editors · March 15, 2022

A deal has been reached between the Sackler Family and the nine remaining states in the nationwide opioid settlement.

Legal Developments
White pills in a hand representing drugmakers losing their request to pause opioid litigation.

Drugmakers Lose Push to Pause Opioid Litigation

MedTruth Editors · March 10, 2022

Opioid litigation will continue after a judge rejected drug manufacturers' request for a pause.

Legal Developments
Image of the Texas flag representing the Teva opioid settlement.

Teva Settles Opioid Claims in Texas

MedTruth Editors · February 21, 2022

Teva will pay Texas $150 million in installments over the next 15 years to settle claims for the company's alleged role in the opioid epidemic.

Image of a woman in bed holding opioid pills representing the Native American tribes settling with opioid manufacturers.

Opioid Manufacturers Settle With Indigenous Tribes

MedTruth Editors · February 10, 2022

Indigenous tribes have reached a settlement with opioid manufacturers over their alleged role in the opioid crisis.

Legal Developments
 Image of New Mexico at sunset representing J&J giving 44 million to resolve opioid claims.

New Mexico Receives $44 Million From J&J To Resolve Opioid Claims

MedTruth Editors · February 4, 2022

J&J will pay New Mexico for its role in fueling the opioid epidemic in the state.

Image of a judge holding a gavel representing the Purdue Pharma opioid settlement rejected.

Purdue Pharma Opioid Settlement Rejected By Judge

MedTruth Editors · January 12, 2022

Judge McMahon rejected the bankruptcy settlement plan that would have resolved thousands of opioid epidemic lawsuits against Purdue Pharma.

Legal Developments
Image of an elderly couple looking at a bottle of opioids representing states urging judge to reject Purdue settlement.

States Urge Federal Judge To Reject Purdue Pharma Settlement

MedTruth Editors · December 16, 2021

A group of U.S. states is urging a federal judge to reject a settlement that may benefit Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma.

Legal Developments
Image of Walmart representing the opioid verdict.

Ohio Jury Finds Pharmacies Liable For Opioid Crisis

MedTruth Editors · December 7, 2021

This verdict comes as an upset to a streak of losses that counties have suffered across the nation.

Legal Developments
Image of a bottle of pills representing the supreme court throwing out opioid verdict.

Supreme Court Throws Out Opioid Verdict

MedTruth Editors · November 18, 2021

The case accused Johnson & Johnson of creating a public nuisance with their opioid marketing that contributed to the opioid crisis

Legal Developments
Image of a bottle of pills representing the Giant Eagle opioid suit.

Giant Eagle Resolves Ohio Opioid Suit During Trial

MedTruth Editors · November 12, 2021

The company agreed to settle lawsuits that accuse it of contributing to the opioid crisis in communities throughout Ohio.

Legal Developments
Image of a doctor prescribing Opioids to a patient in Oklahoma.

OK Legislature Considers Revising Strict Opioid Law

MedTruth Editors · November 9, 2021

Oklahoma may roll back a Senate Bill that limits initial opioid prescription terms.

Laws + Congress
Image of a social worker and elderly man representing COVID burnout on social workers.

COVID Burnout Takes a Toll on Social Workers

MedTruth Editors · November 2, 2021

Social workers dealing with opioid overdoses face an extra source of stress coming from the ongoing pandemic.

Health Features
Image of a woman taking opioid pills representing a study showing patients continue to use opioids three months after procedures.

Patients Continue to Use Opioids 3 Months After Procedures

MedTruth Editors · October 26, 2021

A study found that 21% of patients continued to refill their opioid prescription three months to a year following their procedure.

Research + Findings
Image of a pharmacist representing suspicious opioid prescriptions.

Pharmacy Employees Warned About Opioids

MedTruth Editors · October 18, 2021

Employees of major pharmacies may have tried to alert their superiors of suspicious opioid prescriptions.

Image of a CVS pharmacy representing an executive speaking out in opioid trial.

CVS Executive Speaks Out in Opioid Trial

MedTruth Editors · October 14, 2021

Pharmacies have countered that they have robust opioid monitoring systems to prevent abuse by illegitimate prescriptions.

Legal Developments
Image of a money payout representing the Sackler family receiving broad immunity in Purdue settlement.

Sackler Family To Receive Broad Immunity in Purdue Settlement

MedTruth Editors · September 17, 2021

With the approval, the Sacklers will pay $4.5 billion from the family’s personal fortune over nine years and will relinquish control of the company to a government-run entity. 

Legal Developments
Image of a doctor writing opioid prescriptions.

FDA Public Workshop To Standardize Opioid Education

MedTruth Editors · September 15, 2021

The FDA will conduct a workshop to review the education that opioid prescribers receive in an attempt to reduce the recreational use of opioids.

FDA Regulation
Image of a person holding a pill bottle representing the opioid settlement rejected by 5 states.

$26 Billion Opioid Settlement Rejected By Five States

MedTruth Editors · September 10, 2021

Five states have rejected a deal with opioid drug distributors, and a few more states may follow suit.

Legal Developments
Image of a doctor giving a child pills representing the UM study finding children receiving high-risk opioid prescriptions.

Study Finds Children Receiving High-Risk Opioid Prescriptions

MedTruth Editors · September 7, 2021

Researchers analyzed roughly four million opioid prescriptions dispensed to kids, teenagers, and young adults under age 21.

Research + Findings
Image of an opioid bottle representing the $4 billion Purdue Pharma opioid settlement.

Bankruptcy Judge To Consider $4 Billion Purdue Pharma Opioid Settlement

MedTruth Editors · August 25, 2021

Under the proposed bankruptcy plan, Purdue Pharma would be reorganized into a new entity.

Legal Developments
Image of a doctor writing prescriptions representing North Georgia Healthcare Center settling an opioid whistleblower lawsuit.

North Georgia Healthcare Center Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit

MedTruth Editors · August 19, 2021

The healthcare center agreed to pay the federal government $130,000 to settle a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee.

Legal Developments
Illustration of six people chained to a pill bottle representing drug makers settling opioid lawsuits.

Drug Makers Agree to $26 Billion Nationwide Settlement To Resolve Opioid Suits

MedTruth Editors · July 26, 2021

Three drug distributors will pay $26 billion to resolve thousands of lawsuits filed over the opioid epidemic.

Legal Developments
Image of oxycontin by purdue pharma, representing 15 states signing the opioid settlement.

15 States Sign on to Opioid Settlement

MedTruth Editors · July 12, 2021

Fifteen states have chosen to accept Purdue Pharmaceutical's $4.5 billion opioid settlement offer.

Orange opioid pill bottles representing new opioid lawsuits.

New Opioid Lawsuit Filings May Be on the Horizon

James Parker · April 21, 2020

More than 2,700 multidistrict-litigations are still pending in Ohio federal court, while new opioid lawsuit filings are being bounced back to local and tribal governments.

Legal Developments
Image art from Netflix's The Pharmacist.

Netflix’s Docuseries 'The Pharmacist' Depicts One Man’s Fight Against Opioid Corruption

Kimberly Nicoletti · March 13, 2020

'The Pharmacist' tells the story of Daniel Schneider’s heart-wrenching search for his son’s killer and ultimately shows the opioid crisis through his eyes — a Louisiana-based pharmacist.

Health Features
A gavel illustration representing the J&J Opioid Damages in Oklahoma

Judge Orders J&J to Pay $572 Million to Remediate Opioid Damages in Oklahoma

Tess Francke · September 5, 2019

After a nearly two-month trial, Judge Thad Balkman of Cleveland County District Court ruled Johnson & Johnson had intentionally played down the dangers and oversold the benefits of opioids. The company will pay $572 million for the community destruction caused by prescription painkillers.

Legal Developments
a pregnant woman offered opioids during pregnancy holds her baby bump

Study Finds Nearly Half of Pregnant Women Prescribed Opioids Shortly Before or After Delivery

Carah Wertheimer · August 29, 2019

A study tracked pregnant women prescribed opioids shortly before or after delivery to note prescription re-fill behaviors and continued use following pregnancy. While opioid use can be effective during delivery, researchers say other pain management options should be considered.

Women's Health
A woman holding white pills in one hand and a glass of water in the other, representing the J&J opioid trial in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Begins Historic Opioid Trial Against Johnson & Johnson

Emma Schkloven · May 31, 2019

The trial will determine if Johnson & Johnson used deceptive marketing to downplay the risks of opioid painkillers, contributing to the public health crisis that has reportedly claimed the lives of 4,600 Oklahoma residents.

Legal Developments
A photo of two people sitting in a museum, thinking about the Sackler family's part in the opioid crisis, which has caused museums to reject their donations.

Opioid Link Has Sackler Family Donations Declined By Museums

S. Nicole Lane · May 23, 2019

The Sackler family has profited for years from their personal connections to Purdue Pharma amid the opioid crisis. Now, esteemed museums like the Met, Tate Modern, and the Guggenheim decline the Sackler Family Donations following public backlash.

Legal Developments
A photo of two executives signing an agreement following Oklahoma and Purdue Pharmaceuticals $270 million settlement.

Purdue Settles for $270 Million in Oklahoma's Opioid Crisis

James Parker · April 17, 2019

The state of Oklahoma and Purdue Pharmaceuticals have agreed to a $270 million settlement to help combat the crippling issue of opioid addiction in rural America.

Legal Developments
Photo of a man on a mountain considering alternative options for opioid addiction recovery.

3 Alternative Ways to Recover from Opioid Addiction

S. Nicole Lane · April 10, 2019

Acupuncture, meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy are three recommended alternative methods for individuals recovering from opioid addiction.

Health Features
A physician prescribing based on opioid legislation

Can Opioid Legislation Stem the Free Flow of Drugs?

Carah Wertheimer · March 18, 2019

As the opioid crisis continues to intensify, the numbers paint a grim picture. Unfortunately for those impacted by opioid addiction, U.S. opioid legislation to resolve the epidemic is unlikely to improve anytime soon.

Laws + Congress
A woman looking at pills, struggling among the Opioid Crisis in the United States

HHR: A Rights-Based Approach to the Opioid Epidemic in the United States

Nicole Knight · March 8, 2019

The opioid epidemic in the United States has claimed the lives of over 400,000 people between 1999 and 2017. One report argues that the nation can no longer view the epidemic as a criminal justice issue, and instead, must treat it as the health crisis it is.

Health Features
A woman worried about opioid overdoses in America

How Likely Are Americans to Die from an Opioid Overdose?

Benjamin Duong · February 5, 2019

In 2017, at least 70,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose. A deep dive into the history and causes of the opioid epidemic shows that America has long struggled with opioids.

Research + Findings
Photo of male hand holding opioids as news surfaces on how Trump Opioid Legislation Plan will address the opioid crisis.

Understanding Trump's New Opioid Legislation

S. Nicole Lane · November 15, 2018

Last month, Donald Trump passed the Support for Patients and Communities Act, a new opioid legislation that attempts to confront an epidemic that killed 49,000 people last year.

Laws + Congress
Photo of child reaching for pills depicted the way children in opioid epidemic are affected.

Data Shows Rising Number of Children Poisoned in Opioid Epidemic

Carah Wertheimer · October 25, 2018

The opioid epidemic in the United States is taking an increasingly devastating toll on children and adolescents, including the youngest Americans – preschool and kindergarten children.

Research + Findings
US map representing OxyContin Lawsuit Against Perdue Pharmaceuticals

Half the Nation Unites Against Opioid Manufacturer

James Parker · July 6, 2018

In a crackdown attempt to fight the opioid crisis, 26 states are taking legal action against a major OxyContin manufacturer.

Legal Developments
young Cherokee boy thinking about opioid crisis 2018

How the Opioid Crisis is Affecting the Cherokee Nation

Ashley Lombardo · May 18, 2018

American Indians are disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis, specifically in states like Oklahoma.

Man wearing virtual reality headset to treat opioid addiction

Vanderbilt Tests VR Program To Treat Opioid Users

James Parker · April 23, 2018

An experimental therapy program, in development at Vanderbilt University, uses VR technology to treat opioid addiction.

Trump outlines plan to address the opioid crisis and person checks U.S. passport

Trump Outlines Opioid Initiative To Tackle National Crisis

Ashley Lombardo · April 10, 2018

The Trump administration has outlined a controversial plan to tackle the U.S. opioid crisis, expanding education, enforcement and treatment options.

Is Kratom an Opioid, Mitragyna speciosa leaves

Is Kratom an Opioid? FDA Says Yes

Ashley Lombardo · February 16, 2018

The Food and Drug Administration released a public health advisory about risks associated with kratom, labeling the drug an opioid and blocking imports from Asia.

FDA Regulation
A photo of an American flag on building, representing the opioid crisis as a public health emergency in Trump's America.

Is the Opioid Crisis a Public Health Emergency?

Ashley Lombardo · November 8, 2017

Though President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency, the administration may cut Medicaid without funding aid programs.

A photo of a person holding a phone, representing the reSET sobriety app.

reSET Sobriety App Approved By FDA

Ashley Lombardo · September 22, 2017

The reSET sobriety app, approved by the FDA, combines an incentivized addiction treatment program with cognitive behavioral therapy.

FDA Regulation
Woman in bed scrolls through reddit to learn about opioid epidemic on Reddit

The Nation’s Opioid Epidemic, As Seen On Reddit

Ashley Lombardo · September 11, 2017

Reddit, one of the world’s largest online communities, provides a glimpse into the nation's opioid epidemic where people buy drugs online.

Health Features