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Drug Abuse

May 31, 2013 | By Scott Glover and Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times
The state Senate on Thursday unanimously passed the last bill in a broad package of proposed reforms aimed at combating prescription drug abuse and mounting overdose deaths in California. The bills, inspired by a series of investigative stories in The Times, would help authorities track drug abusing patients as well as doctors who overprescribe painkillers and other addictive narcotics. One bill would give the state medical board the power to immediately suspend the prescribing privileges of doctors suspected of putting patients at risk.
May 30, 2013 | By Lisa Girion
The California Senate unanimously approved a bill Thursday that would significantly enhance a prescription-monitoring program aimed at curbing drug abuse and overdose deaths. The bill passed after sponsors made concessions to overcome pharmaceutical industry opposition. It was the last piece of a broad package of proposals approved by the Senate this week that were introduced in response to a series of Los Angeles Times articles linking doctors to patient overdose deaths. A Times analysis found that 71 physicians prescribed medications to three or more patients who died of drug-related causes.
May 28, 2013 | By Lisa Girion and Scott Glover, Los Angeles Times
Amid opposition from the pharmaceutical industry, state senators Tuesday failed to pass a bill that would have significantly enhanced a prescription monitoring program aimed at curbing drug abuse and overdose deaths. Under the proposed legislation, the program - known as CURES - would have received a steady stream of funding from an increase in licensing fees on pharmacists, physicians and other prescribers. The bill also called for a tax on drug makers to allow the attorney general to hire teams of investigators to crack down on drug-seeking patients and doctors who recklessly prescribe to them.
May 21, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
By the end of high school, 12% of teens say they have taken a stimulant medication for reasons other than to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But parents, including many of those whose kids are taking ADHD drugs in a bid to boost their academic performance, appear to be clueless. Among parents whose kids have not been prescribed ADHD medication, a University of Michigan study found, only 1% said they believed their child had used prescription stimulant medication -- including Ritalin, Adderall and Vyvanse -- as a study drug.
May 14, 2013 | Jim Peltz, Los Angeles Times
Chuck Muncie, a star running back with the New Orleans Saints and the San Diego Chargers who overcame a cocaine habit that ended his career and then devoted his later life to helping others avoid drug abuse, has died. He was 60. Muncie died Monday of a heart attack at his Los Angeles-area home, his family announced. After a stellar career at UC Berkeley, Muncie played in the National Football League from 1976 to 1984 and was selected to play in three Pro Bowls. He spent more than four years with the Saints before joining the Chargers in the middle of the 1980 season.
May 7, 2013 | By Christie DZurilla
Brooke Mueller, ex-wife of Charlie Sheen and mother to his twin boys, has been getting treatment for prescription drug abuse since Friday, according to her rep. "Brooke is currently at UCLA Medical Center where she has been since being admitted May 3," Steve Honig told the Ministry in a statement. "She will be there for several more days, and will likely transition directly into a residential treatment facility to get help for prescription drug abuse. " That's contrary to a report that Mueller had been involuntarily checked into the medical center for care on Wednesday.
May 6, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court on Monday unanimously upheld the right of cities to ban medical marijuana dispensaries. “While some counties and cities might consider themselves well suited to accommodating medical marijuana dispensaries, conditions in other communities might lead to the reasonable decision that such facilities within their borders, even if carefully sited, well managed, and closely monitored, would present unacceptable...
May 5, 2013
Re "Obama vows alliance with Mexico ," May 3 In trying to reduce the violence in Mexico, President Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto are doing a hat dance around the obvious solution. As repugnant as it may be to some, decriminalizing drug use would quickly accomplish a number of goals: Drug cartels would lose billions of dollars, hampering their ability to corrupt public officials; law enforcement on both sides of the border would gain much-needed man-hours for use in fighting serious crimes; and billions of dollars wasted annually on a fruitless drug war could be recouped for use in bolstering the economy.
May 2, 2013 | By Corina Knoll
This post has been corrected. See note at bottom for details. Michael Jackson's family tried over and over to talk with the pop singer about his drug abuse and attempted one intervention at his Neverland retreat, a Los Angeles police detective who interviewed Michael Jackson's mother testified Thursday. Det. Orlando Martinez said that when he interviewed Katherine Jackson on Dec. 9, 2009 - months after Jackson's death - she told him  she had never met nor known about Dr. Conrad Murray until her son died.
May 1, 2013 | By Scott Glover and Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times
Fearing lawmakers may fail to pass a package of medical reform bills, a coalition of consumer groups and trial lawyers is mounting a campaign to put before voters an even more ambitious slate of initiatives aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse and holding doctors more accountable for misconduct. About two dozen state and national advocacy groups - including the Consumer Attorneys of California, California Nurses Assn., the Center for Public Interest Law, and Public Citizen - have been organizing privately since December and plan to unveil the campaign at the state Capitol on Thursday.
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