21 Metro Detroiters from 14 cities named in doctor-run opioid scheme tied to painful back injections
Twenty-one people from at least 14 different cities in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties have been named in a doctor-run scheme that involved addicted patients and drug dealers agreeing to painful, unnecessary back injections in exchange for opioids, federal officials said.
City of Plymouth: Unused drug collection service resumes today
FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)PLYMOUTH, Mich. – The city of Plymouth is notifying residents that its drug collection service will resume Monday, March 1. The service is intended to reduce the amount of unneeded medicine in residents’ homes, decrease prescription drug abuse, and keep drugs out of waterways. The city of Plymouth’s Drug Collection Unit site is open to the public, on the main floor of City Hall, Monday through Friday only between 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m. If you have any questions regarding this program contact the Plymouth Police Department at 734-453-1234 ext.
Oakland County to host free drive-thru Narcan training
PONTIAC, Mich. – The Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities is taking its Narcan training curbside to combat the rise in overdose deaths. To help combat this issue, the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities pivoted to provide virtual Narcan training and starting Friday, it is also offering drive up training. Every Friday from now until April 2, the Alliance will be conducting free drive-up/drive-thru Narcan training from noon to 2 p.m. at different host locations. In less than 10 minutes, participants will receive one-on-one training on the proper administration of intra-nasal Narcan. Each person participating will need to fill out a short survey in order to receive the Narcan during this event.
Warren police bust drug ring selling cocaine laced with fentanyl
They believe the three taken into custody are the leaders of a ring selling cocaine laced with fentanyl that has killed three people in Warren. Jermaine Tate, 38, has been charged with conducting criminal enterprise, delivery/manufacturing fentanyl and three counts of conspiracy to deliver/manufacture fentanyl. Nathaniel Clark, 32, as been charged with conducting criminal enterprise, three counts of delivery/manufacturing fentanyl and three counts of conspiracy to deliver/manufacture fentanyl. Terry Jamal Gaskins, 34, has been charged with conducting criminal enterprise, three counts of delivery/manufacturing fentanyl and three counts of conspiracy to deliver/manufacture fentanyl. Authorities said they’ve been distributing cocaine laced with fentanyl, cut down to make a larger profit.
3 arrested in connection with Warren fentanyl ring, more arrests likely
WARREN, Mich. – An investigation into a large-scale group alleged to be manufacturing and distributing fentanyl across Metro Detroit culminated in the arrests of three people. (Stopping Narcotic Overdoses in Warren) began investigating in November after the death of a 47-year-old resident. Jermaine Tate, 38, has been charged with conducting criminal enterprise, delivery/manufacturing fentanyl and three counts of conspiracy to deliver/manufacture fentanyl. Nathaniel Clark, 32, as been charged with conducting criminal enterprise, three counts of delivery/manufacturing fentanyl and three counts of conspiracy to deliver/manufacture fentanyl. Terry Jamal Gaskins, 34, has been charged with conducting criminal enterprise, three counts of delivery/manufacturing fentanyl and three counts of conspiracy to deliver/manufacture fentanyl.
Michigan receives $80M in federal funding to respond to ongoing opioid crisis
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan has received $80 million in federal funding to respond to the ongoing opioid crisis. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Michigan Opioids Task Force made the announcement Monday. READ: Survey: Opioid misuse decreases, serious mental illness increases among AmericansThe funding includes $36.4 million from the new State Opioid Response II (SOR II) grant and $43.1 million from an extension of the current State Opioid Response I (SOR I) grant. “The opioid epidemic has devastated families across Michigan, and we must continue to do everything we can to end it. “I will continue working closely with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and members of the Michigan Opioids Task Force to keep Michiganders safe.”The SOR II grant begins Sept. 30 and continues for two years.
Survey: Opioid misuse decreases, serious mental illness increases among Americans
The annual survey was released on Friday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and includes data on mental health and substance use among Americans. Serious mental illness is also reportedly increasing among adults 18-49 years old. The report concluded that substance abuse and mental disorders are common among throughout the U.S. Those with serious mental illness are more likely to misuse substance, as individuals misusing substances are likely to experience mental health issues, according to the survey. “Increases in marijuana and methamphetamine use and in serious mental illness are very concerning, and we expect that these challenges will be exacerbated by this year’s pandemic," Azar said. “The NSDUH data provide a foundation that helps to focus resources to address the important areas of mental health and substance use issues in our nation,” said Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use.
Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network to hold free Narcan drive-thru event
DETROIT The Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network (DWIHN) is holding a free Narcan giveway on Monday. Naloxone, or Narcan, rapidly reverses the effects of an overdose. The free distribution is part of International Overdose Awareness Day. The free drive-thru event runs from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 707 West Milwaukee, Detroit Parking Lots A & B. Distributing free Narcan is just one more way for all of us to save lives.READ: More coverage
Ann Arbor augmented reality company SpellBound receives $1.8M grant for pediatric study
ANN ARBOR, Mich. SpellBound, an Ann Arbor-based augmented reality company, has received a $1.8 million fast track grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study opioid use in pediatric cancer patients. The study will measure the effects of SpellBounds augmented reality scavenger hunt, ARISE, on the length of hospital stay and opioid use by pediatric cancer patients after surgery. She stated that studies have found relationships between movement, recovery milestones and a reduction of overall pain but getting pediatric patients to move is a challenge for clinicians. The fast track grant allows SpellBound to accelerate the study by combining phase 1 and phase 2 trials to test feasibility and perform clinical trials. York added that the research grant will allow SpellBound to provide support resources for research hospitals in the study, hire more engineers and evolve ARISE.
19 Metro Detroiters charged in opioid scheme involving 4 doctors, 5 pharmacies, 2 million pills
Officials said 19 people from 12 different cities in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties have been charged in a massive $41 million opioid distribution scheme that involved four doctors, two nurses, nearly 2 million pills and five Metro Detroit pharmacies.
Metro Detroit physicians found guilty of defrauding Medicare, prescribing unnecessary opioids
WASHINGTON – Four Metro Detroit physicians were found guilty of health care fraud for their roles in a scheme to administer unnecessary back injections to patients in exchange for prescriptions of medically unnecessary opioids. “These physicians subjected patients to medically unnecessary injections to reap millions in fraudulent billings. While working at Tri-County they engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare of over $150 million by billing for medically unnecessary facet joint injections, unnecessary urinary drug screens, home health and more. Those patients were forced to submit to unnecessary facet injections for the prescription. Officials said they provided prescriptions for narcotics, including opioids and benzodiazepines, as an incentive to patients who received the injections.
Michigan sues opioid distributors, likening them to drug dealers
LANSING, Mich. – The State of Michigan filed a landmark lawsuit against opioid distributors, likening them to drug dealers. Four distributors are named in the lawsuit, including Walgreens, Cardinal Health Inc., McKesson Corporation and Amerisource-Bergen Drug Corporation. When Michigan passed the Drug Dealer Liability Act in 1994, lawmakers likely didn’t think it would apply to drug companies. WATCH: Whitmer, Nessel announce plan to combat opioid epidemic in MichiganNessel filed the lawsuit in Wayne County, which her office considers ground zero in the opioid crisis in Michigan. The money from the lawsuit is expected to go into programs that help opioid victims and to police and prosecutor’s offices that can’t afford an opioid unit.