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opioid abuse

Closer Look: Singer Rahbi; Ma Rainey; And More

Jun 30, 2017
Donte Maurice

Friday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga.,  July 23, 2013.
Charles Dharapak / Associated Press

The federal government is giving states $500 million to combat the nation's opioid abuse epidemic. 

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U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price made the announcement Wednesday at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in downtown Atlanta, where thousands gathered. The funds will come from the 21st Century Cures Act, he said, which passed Congress last year and was signed by President Barack Obama. 

Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

Court documents unsealed in the investigation into Prince's death paint a picture of a man struggling with an addiction to prescription opioids and withdrawal, with various pills stashed in bottles around the pop superstar's suburban Minneapolis studio and estate.

But the search warrants and affidavits unsealed Monday shed no new light on how Prince got the fentanyl that killed him.

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Closer Look: Tom Frieden; Opioid Abuse; And More

Mar 20, 2017
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Monday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Georgia has become the opioid treatment program capital of the South as loose regulations have led to an explosion of new clinics opening around the state.

But Senators are working to tamp down the booming business with a licensure program that will require new clinics to demonstrate a need in the community before being allowed to open.

"We wanna make sure we have quality treatment facilities in all of Georgia and help run off the riffraff," said Sen. Jeff Mullis, R- Chickamauga, sponsor of the legislation.

Faced with an alarming increase in opioid addiction, a growing number of prosecutors are charging dealers not just for selling but for the deaths of customers who overdose on heroin or fentanyl. Here are some questions and answers about opioid abuse and this approach to pursuing dealers.

How many Americans die of opioid overdoses? 

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says heroin overdoses tracked throughout most of the state more than doubled last year compared to the previous year.

The GBI says so far it's counted 134 people who died of an overdose related to heroin in 2015, compared to 61 in 2014. The agency says last year’s number could still go up because there are a few cases the medical examiner hasn't finished.

Last year marks the second time in a row Georgia saw heroin overdoses double year-over-year.

Allison Guillory / WABE

Among the countless Georgians who find themselves addicted to prescription painkillers and heroin are women who are pregnant.

Babies who are exposed in utero to these kinds of drugs, along with other licit and illicit substances, can become dependent on them and experience withdrawal symptoms after birth. The medical condition is known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, or NAS.

As of the beginning of this year, Georgia’s Department of Public Health made NAS a required reportable condition and began tracking cases.  

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

President Barack Obama visited Atlanta on Tuesday to discuss new ways his administration wants to tackle a growing prescription painkiller and heroin epidemic.

Obama spoke at the National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, where he unveiled a series of plans to expand access to medicines that can help people fight addiction.

Candace Wheeler / WABE

Tuesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":