CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 5, 2011 |
As California's top prescriber of narcotic painkillers and other commonly abused drugs, Dr. Nazar Al Bussam made hundreds of thousands of dollars feeding the addictions of strung-out patients who packed into his offices in Downey and Los Angeles, according to authorities. Federal prosecutors concluded it was "pure luck" that his reckless prescribing had not resulted in any known deaths. A Los Angeles Times review of coroners' records, however, reveals that at least three of the doctor's patients died of drug overdoses in 2007 and 2008.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2011 |
Federal and local law enforcement officials on Thursday raided four medical clinics in the San Fernando Valley suspected of operating as "prescription mills" that catered to addicts seeking heroin-like painkillers and other drugs. The investigation into the clinics was prompted by the apparent overdose death of a Ventura County man last month, officials said. Authorities closed the clinics — three in Reseda and one in Van Nuys — because of alleged labor code violations, they said.
July 7, 2011 |
The stop-smoking drug Chantix and common-as-candy pain relievers are both making headlines this week. And they both offer a reminder of something most people ignore: Drugs, even seemingly benign ones, aren’t -- they can all have side effects. Don’t believe us? Pick a drug, any drug. The FDA warned last month that the quit-smoking drug Chantix might increase the risk of heart problems, and a larger study this week found that Chantix increased the risk of heart attack or arrhythmia by 72% in smokers and smokeless tobacco users.
June 27, 2011 |
"Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" 10 p.m. June 13, ABC Episode: "Dana" The premise Dana Baker is a 44-year-old gospel singer who weighs 498 pounds. He freely admits to a regular diet of cookies, Hawaiian Punch and donuts. He sweats when putting on his shoes, gets short of breath just standing or sitting and says he takes "eight to 10 painkillers every morning just to function. " Baker's plea for help is answered by Chris Powell, the 33-year-old personal trainer who works with experts from the California Health and Longevity Institute in Westlake Village.
May 20, 2011 |
The death of Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard was an accident, due to a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkiller oxycodone. The Hennepin County, Minn., medical examiner announced Boogaard's cause of death Friday, saying it was unclear exactly when the 28-year-old died. Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment May 14, five months after he sustained a season-ending concussion with the New York Rangers. The medical examiner said no private data on Boogaard would be released, but a statement his family issued through the National Hockey League Players' Assn.
May 13, 2011 |
Add painkiller abuse to the list of vices for which the Web can potentially be blamed. A new study finds that admission to treatment facilities for prescription drugs has grown in step, roughly, with the spread of high-speed Internet. The association raises the possibility, the authors say, of whether the growth in online pharmacies is driving drug abuse. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Southern California culled data from states on the use of high-speed Internet and admission to substance-abuse facilities for drugs such as narcotic painkillers, stimulants, anxiolytics, and sedative-hypnotics (drugs that a government study showed were easily available online)
May 3, 2011 |
Many people have no idea what’s in their over-the-counter pain medication, if we’re to believe the results of a new study based on only 32 participants. And we’d just as well. Our own friends' and family members' confusion suggests they don't know either. Researchers from Northwestern University asked 32 adults in Atlanta and Chicago to match name-brand medicine boxes with the main active ingredient. Although 75% of participants knew that Bayer’s main ingredient was aspirin, fewer than half knew what was in Tylenol, Aleve and Advil.
April 23, 2011 |
The FDA is asking companies that make painkillers to create educational materials, written in simple language, on how to safely use and throw away opiates as part of the government’s new effort to curtail prescription drug abuse. Opiate-drug makers will also have to propose a plan in 120 days on how they will train doctors to manage pain and screen patients, the FDA announced Tuesday. Certain drugs the companies sell are being...
April 20, 2011 |
Prescription drug abuse is a crisis in this country, federal government officials said Tuesday, and it’s time to do something about it. Specifically, they want to cut opioid abuse by targeting the people who prescribe the drugs and the users who obtain them. The report “ Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis ,” recommends a four-part strategy to reduce painkiller overdoses. Essentially: -- Increase education, particularly among parents and children, about prescription drug abuse.
April 6, 2011 |
Patients on higher doses of opioid painkillers are more likely to accidentally overdose than those prescribed lower doses, a new study finds. Those who were prescribed more than 100 milligrams of painkillers a day overdosed more than people limited to 1 to 20 milligrams, researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Ann Arbor, Mich., found. The trend stayed true whether the patient had acute pain, chronic pain, a substance abuse problem or cancer. White, middle-age men were statistically more likely to overdose.