drug overdose

Naloxone Manufacturer Issues Recall

Jun 5, 2018
Lauren Chapman/Indiana Public Broadcasting

Naloxone manufacturer Hospira issued a voluntary recall of its single-use cartridge syringe system for the opioid overdose antidote.

The company says it found loose or embedded particulate matter on the syringe plunger. The recall is on lot numbers 7260LL and 76510LL.

If someone is exposed to the particulate, Hospira says there is a low chance of experiencing adverse health effects including allergic reactions and pulmonary dysfunction.

Jake Harper/ Side Effects Public Media

New research finds that fentanyl is far more common than heroin in overdose deaths in Indianapolis and that blacks are particularly affected.

In 2017, nearly half of the people who died from an overdose in Marion County, where Indianapolis is located, had fentanyl in their system. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

Jake Harper / Side Effects

In a refrigerator in the coroner’s office in Marion County, Indiana, rows of vials await testing. They contain blood, urine and vitreous, the fluid collected from inside a human eye. In overdose cases, the fluids may contain clues for investigators. 


Wikimedia Commons

The Indiana Senate has passed a bill requiring more complete reporting of overdose data from county coroners.

Life expectancy in the U.S. fell for the second year in a row in 2016, nudged down again by a surge in fatal opioid overdoses, federal officials report Thursday.

"I'm not prone to dramatic statements," says Robert Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the National Center for Health Statistics. "But I think we should be really alarmed. The drug overdose problem is a public health problem, and it needs to be addressed. We need to get a handle on it."

Pharmacists Slow To Dispense Lifesaving Overdose Drug Naloxone

Dec 21, 2017
Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

Gale Dunham, a pharmacist in Calistoga, Calif., knows the devastation the opioid epidemic has wrought, and she is glad the anti-overdose drug naloxone is becoming more accessible.

As Opioids Mix, More Naloxone Needed To Stop Overdoses

May 31, 2017
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ADAPT Pharma / narcan.com
Jake Harper / Side Effects

When someone dies unexpectedly outside of a hospital in Marion County, Alfarena Ballew, chief deputy coroner, gets a call.


Federal data suggest illegally manufactured fentanyl, a drug that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, is behind an increase in synthetic opioid deaths.

Details On Death Certificates Offer Layers Of Clues To Opioid Epidemic

Jun 1, 2016

Dr. James Gill walked through the morgue in Farmington, Conn., recently, past the dock where the bodies come in, past the tissue donations area, and stopped outside the autopsy room.

"We kind of have a typical board listing all of the decedents for the day," Gill said, pointing to the list of names on a dry-erase board. "Overdose, overdose, overdose, overdose, overdose. That's just for today."

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