Drug

Opioids

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. 

Introduced

U.S. market: 1996

Treats

Pain

Side Effects

Addiction and abuse

Read more about Opioids

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.

News
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.

MedTech
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.

News
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.

News
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