KASU

Opioids

Scott Ellington

2nd Judicial District Prosecutor Scott Ellington has won the Arkansas Municipal League's "Person of the Year" Award during a conference in Little Rock.  He was recognized for his work against the opiod epidimic in Arkansas.  KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves conducts this interview with Ellington.  Click on the Listen button for the entire interview. 

State and local leaders are considering how best to treat Arkansas’s opioid crisis if their coalition lawsuit succeeds against opioid drug makers and distributors.

A group of Arkansas cities and counties made national headlines when it came together last week to launch a lawsuit against 65 opioid drug makers, distributors, and others.

Colin Jorgensen is an attorney for the Arkansas Association of Counties who worked on the lawsuit. He says the case seeks a payout large enough to fix the state’s growing opioid epidemic.

Cities and counties across Arkansas are joining in a state lawsuit against drug manufacturers, distributors, and other parties involved in the opioid epidemic.

The lawsuit filed last week in Crittenden County Circuit Court comes after the Arkansas Municipal League filed a federal lawsuit against 13 major drug manufacturers and distributors last December. The state lawsuit targets 65 defendants ranging from retailers to pharmacies and individual doctors.

Pixabay

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee attorney general says lawsuits by local prosecutors over the opioid epidemic are complicating his efforts to reach a multistate settlement with drug companies. In response, the prosecutors, who represent about half of Tennessee's counties, say local communities lose out when lawsuits like theirs are rolled into one settlement.

Pixabay

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed a bill to make it legal for organizations to provide free needles to drug users.

House members voted 135-13 Thursday to send the bill to the Senate.

Republican Rep. Holly Rehder has said Missouri groups now pass out clean syringes to intravenous drug users with the goal of preventing the spread of hepatitis C and HIV through dirty needles. But state law bans possessing drug paraphernalia, which puts the needle exchanges in murky legal waters.

The State Medical Board wants to tighten restrictions on doctors’ abilities to prescribe opioids in some instances, and one of the changes is that patients will be asked for a urine sample for drug testing.

 

Arkansas has the second-highest opioid prescription rate nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the proposed regulations are part of an effort to combat the deadly overdose crisis in the state.

Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane told the medical board at a hearing for public comments Thursday that opioid abuse, particularly heroin use, is going up, and overdoses are increasing.

Pixabay

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Legislature is considering a pair of bill proposals to curb the availability of prescription opioids statewide.

Pixabay

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri is collecting and investigating opioid prescription data through a statewide drug monitoring program to identify doctors and clinics that overprescribe painkillers.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Chief Justice Zel Fischer is calling to expand drug treatment courts to help fight opioid misuse.

Fischer in prepared remarks for the annual State of the Judiciary Wednesday said he expects treatment courts will be on the front lines of the opioid epidemic.

But Fischer says admission into the programs has dropped an average of 23 percent since a 27-percent funding cut this fiscal year. He added that there are 15 counties now without any access to treatment courts.