painkillers | Nashville Public Radio

painkillers

Blake Farmer / WPLN (File photo)

Tennessee's Medicaid program is trying to make it easier for patients to get prescription drugs that help treat opioid addiction. The moves come after years of restricting access to the medication because of concerns about abuse and diversion.

opiateaddictiontreatment / via Flickr

Purdue Pharma's sales reps in Tennessee were pushing OxyContin even harder as the high-powered opioid came under more legal scrutiny in recent years. That's among hundreds of claims made by the Tennessee Attorney General in a lawsuit filed in May and made public Thursday.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Even asking how best to wean drug abusers off opioids can raise hackles. Addiction specialists have straddled a philosophical divide over the use of pharmaceuticals in the process. But the side advocating against medication assisted treatment is shrinking in Tennessee and nationwide.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Overdose deaths among African-Americans in Tennessee have roughly doubled since 2012. Fatalities from opioids are still growing among whites in the state, but deaths among blacks are surging twice as fast.

courtesy Neighborhood Health / via Facebook

A drug that has been increasingly abused by opioid users is becoming harder to access in Tennessee, designated as a controlled substance starting July 1.

courtesy Pexels

Tennessee doctors are getting a crash course in the state's new restrictions on opioids ahead of the law taking effect July 1. Physicians are concerned about new liability since the prescribing rules do away with much of their discretion.

TN Photo Services (file)

The finer points of a bill to heavily restrict opioid prescribing came down to the final hours of the legislative session, with a hang-up over medical coding nearly killing Gov. Bill Haslam's signature legislation for the year.

courtesy office of Lamar Alexander

Senator Lamar Alexander's bipartisan response to the opioid crisis has unanimously advanced out of the health committee that he chairs.

David Goehring / via Flickr

Doctors in Tennessee are putting patients on fewer addictive painkillers. An annual survey finds that opioid prescriptions dropped 8.9 percent in Tennessee last year, but the state still stands out for its high rate of prescribing.

courtesy Sen. Lamar Alexander

This week, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander launched the first hearings on a sweeping response to the opioid crisis. Alexander chairs the Senate's health committee.

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