drug abuse

Louis Morano knows what he needs, and he knows where to get it.

Morano, 29, has done seven stints in rehab for opioid addiction in the past 15 years. So, he has come to a mobile medical clinic parked on a corner of Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood, in the geographical heart of the city's overdose crisis. People call the mobile clinic the "bupe bus."

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

The ongoing court case against opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson highlighted the role that doctors, and the medical boards who regulate them, have played in the continuing public health crisis. 

Chris Landsberger / The Oklahoman

The opioid trial of The State of Oklahoma v. Johnson & Johnson wrapped up recently, and its outcome could have ramifications on a national scale. If the state prevails, Johnson and Johnson could have to spend billions to help ease the epidemic in Oklahoma. The verdict could be handed down later this summer, so until then we must wait.

Good news came out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday: Preliminary data shows reported drug overdoses declined 4.2% in 2018, after rising precipitously for decades.

A global megacorporation best known for Band-Aids and baby powder may have to pay billions for its alleged role in the opioid crisis. Johnson & Johnson was the sole defendant in a closely-watched trial that wrapped up in Oklahoma state court this week, with a decision expected later this summer. The ruling in the civil case could be the first that would hold a pharmaceutical company responsible for one of the worst drug epidemics in American history.

Chris Landsberger / The Oklahoman

After a seven-week trial, a judge in Oklahoma is now considering whether Johnson & Johnson should be held responsible for the state's opioid epidemic.

The lawsuit, which is the first of its kind to play out in court, alleges Johnson & Johnson helped ignite the opioid crisis with aggressive marketing, leading to thousands of overdose deaths. The state is asking for more than $17 billion.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Today the state of Oklahoma laid out its closing argument for holding a pharmaceutical company responsible for the national opioid epidemic.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

The number of cases of children entering the foster care system due to parental drug use has more than doubled since 2000, according to research published this week in JAMA Pediatrics.

Top officials from 13 states are joining Philadelphia in urging a federal court to allow a site to open where people can inject illegal opioids under medical supervision, the latest escalation in a legal battle with the Justice Department that may determine whether such facilities, known as supervised injection sites, can start to operate in America.

Chris Landsberger / The Oklahoman

The federal government is seeking its slice of Oklahoma’s recent $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharmaceuticals, and the bill could be millions of dollars.

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