opioids

Walmart announced Monday it is introducing new restrictions on how it will fill opioid medication prescriptions in all of its in-store and Sam's Club pharmacies.

Amanda Williammee pauses at the window of the toddler classroom at Horizons day care in Carrboro, N.C., to quietly check on her 2-year-old daughter Taycee.

"I like to peek in on her and see what she's doing before she sees me," Williammee says. "I love watching her — it's too funny."

There's a dance party in progress. Soon, Taycee spots her mom, screams and comes running to the door.

"Did you dance?" Williammee asks, leaning down to her daughter.

To the untrained, the evidence looks promising for a new medical device to ease opioid withdrawal. A small study shows that people feel better when the device, an electronic nerve stimulator called the Bridge, is placed behind their ear.

The company that markets the Bridge is using the study results to promote its use to anyone who will listen: policymakers, criminal justice officials and health care providers.

The message is working.

Oleg Dudko, 123RF Stock Photo

The Drug Enforcement Administration is planning to open a Post of Duty office in Paducah.

WKYU

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has introduced a bill aimed at addressing the impact the opioid epidemic is having on the nation’s workforce.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky's Democratic attorney general has filed a fifth lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company for deceptive marketing of opioid-based painkillers.

Editor's note: Since this story was first posted, we have received word that Destini Johnson is regaining consciousness and is out of intensive care.

Last August, Destini Johnson practically danced out of jail, after landing there for two months on drug charges. She bubbled with excitement about her new freedom and returning home to her parents in Muncie, Ind. She even talked about plans to find a job.

Wasin Pummarin, 123rf Stock Photo

A clash has ended between the Tennessee attorney general and local prosecutors over lawsuits against drug companies for costs of the opioid epidemic.

Mary Meehan | Ohio Valley ReSource

Kentucky ranks in the top five highest number of drug overdoses in the country. It also has one of the highest of Hepatitis C, and while HIV/AIDS cases are declining the U.S., Kentucky holds steady with new cases. Much of this can be traced back to people who use IV drugs, using needles or syringes to inject opioids. But there’s some progress being made. Kentucky will soon have the highest number of syringe exchange sites in the country, bypassing California and New Mexico.

It took several months and a team of half a dozen doctors, nurses and therapists to help Kim Brown taper off the opioid painkillers she'd been on for two years.

Brown, 57, had been taking the pills since a back injury in 2010. It wasn't until she met Dr. Dennis McManus, a neurologist who specializes in managing pain without drugs, that she learned she had some control over her pain.

"That's when life changed," she said.

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