(Kaiser Health News) There were more than four times the number of drug-related deaths in Jefferson Parish in 2017 than homicides.
There were 173 overdose deaths, according to the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s office, and 42 homicides in 2017.
A total of 139 of the overdose deaths were opioid/opiate related. Suicides are included in some of the overdose deaths reported last year.
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More on the opioid epidemic from Kaiser Health News…
NPR: Opioid Overdoses Often Missed On Death Certificates
In a refrigerator in the coroner’s office in Marion County, Ind., 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.
“We send that off to a toxicology lab to be tested for what we call drugs of abuse,” said Alfie Ballew, deputy coroner. The results often include drugs such as cocaine, heroin, fentanyl or prescription pharmaceuticals. (Harper, 3/22)
USA Today: Drugmakers, Feds Combine Efforts To Combat Opioid Epidemic
Federal officials said they are working to get new non-opioid painkillers onto the market, along with opioid treatment drugs, part of the administration’s strategy to address an addiction epidemic that shows no signs of abating. To those who became addicted after they were prescribed or tried pharmaceutical opioids as teens, the alternatives come too late but are still welcome news. (O’Donnell, 3/21)
The Hill: GOP Senators Push Tougher Sentencing For Synthetic Opioid
A group of Republicans wants to bolster mandatory minimum sentencing for trafficking fentanyl, a move that comes as President Trump advocates for harsher punishments for drug traffickers. Fentanyl is “as much a weapon of mass destruction as it is a drug,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said at a Thursday press conference, holding up a nearly empty salt shaker and explaining how that amount — less than 40 grams — of fentanyl could kill thousands of people. (Roubein, 3/22)
Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.