Category Archives: Suboxone Overdoses

Emerging adult age status predicts poor buprenorphine treatment retention…

May 21, 2014

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment


Harvard Study – Emerging adults (18-25 years old) are often poorly retained in substance use disorder treatment…   read more:

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Rutland pharmacist diverted drugs…

Sam Hemingway, Free Press Staff Writer
6:33 a.m. EDT April 24, 2014

VERMONT – A druggist at a Walgreens pharmacy in Rutland pleaded not guilty this week to a charge he diverted more than 700 prescription painkiller tablets for his own use. Cigana was confronted March 3 by Walgreens official Peter Serafin and admitted he took the medications. The missing drugs included 400 Carisoprodol or skeletal relaxant tablets, 300 hydrocodone pills, five Alprazolam tablets and eight Suboxone strips…    read more:

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Man threatens Walgreens Pharmacist….

April 14, 2014

Pennsylvania – A man was arrested minutes after he allegedly threatened a pharmacist at Walgreens Pharmacy on Monday morning to get a supply of Suboxone. Rodgers allegedly told the pharmacist, “I have a revolver in my pocket and I’m not afraid to kill you,” the complaint says. The pharmacist told Rodgers not to hurt her as she placed a box of 30 Suboxone valued at $249 on the counter…     read more:

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Police say drugs smuggled into prison on baby…

April 04, 2014

Associated Press

VERMONT – Vermont State Police say a couple attempted to smuggle drugs into the Marble Valley Correctional Facility by attaching them to a baby. Police say during their investigation they learned that inmate 26-year-old Gregory Munukka contacted his girlfriend, 25-year-old Michelle Doaner, about obtaining buprenorphine for him. Police said they decided the drug would be attached to their 1-year-old child so Munukka could receive the drugs on a scheduled visit to the prison on March 31…    read more:

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Haleyville doctor under fire for far exceeding federal limits on number of Suboxone patients…

Shoals Insider

Larry Baker Staff Writer

Sat, Mar 29, 2014
ALABAMA – A Winston County physician, Dr. Boyde Harrison, has come under scrutiny and brought about an investigation for violating the maximum number of Suboxone patients he treats. Federal Law clearly mandates that no prescriber can exceed 100 patients on this highly addictive narcotic. According to public databases, Harrison concurrently had in excess of several hundred patients, including the elderly, on this powerful and deadly drug, often used to treat addiction. read more:

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Physician Pleads Guilty to Illegally Prescribing Drug Used to Treat Opiate Addiction…

March 14, 2014

BOSTON – The AG’s investigation revealed that Ng prescribed the drug Suboxone, a semi-synthetic drug used to treat opiate addition, to nine of his patients even after repeated drug tests indicated that the patients were not taking Suboxone and were continuing to use illegal street drugs, including heroin, methadone and other opiates. For many of these patients, Ng wrote medical notes falsely stating that the patients had therapeutic levels of Suboxone in their system, had not deviated from their treatment, or had been tolerating their Suboxone treatment without difficulty. Ng also wrote prescriptions in false names for two additional patients. Most of the prescriptions at issue were billed to and paid for by the Massachusetts Medicaid Program (MassHealth)…   read more:

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Couple facing hearing in death…

March 6, 2014

MISSOURI – Dr. John Bechinski, a deputy medical examiner at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, said an autopsy and toxicology reports found that the 4-year-old girl died from buprenorphine intoxication. He said he also found ethanol in the girl’s eye fluids and there is “no way to determine how alcohol was in her body.” Buprenorphine is an opioid medication in Suboxone, which is a synthetic opiate and is a medication approved for treatment of opiate dependence…   read more:

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Wyckoff baby clings to life after ingesting anti-heroin drug, mother, boyfriend charged…

Posted by: Jerry DeMarco

Posted date:  February 21, 2014

NEW YORK –  A 9-month-old Wyckoff boy who ingested a methadone-like drug was in intensive care with swelling of the brain at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, and his mother and her boyfriend were behind bars. The unresponsive baby was brought to the Valley Hospital last Saturday with small bruises on his forehead after Wyckoff police got a 911 call, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said this morning. The prosecutor said that detectives who went to the Harvey Court home of Tara Bradbury, 23, found Suboxone, an expensive high-tech drug used to treat heroin and Dilaudid dependency that experts say can itself become addicting – and cause brain damage. It’s been called “the rich man’s methadone”…    read more:

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Man faces drug charges after woman found dead…



Feb 12, 2104

MASSACHUSETTS – A Salem man is facing a string of drug charges after a woman was found dead in his apartment early Monday morning, and police are continuing to investigate whether those drugs played a role in a possible overdose. During his arraignment yesterday in Salem District Court, Shwan Kareem, 32, of 17R Boston St., pleaded not guilty to charges of possession with intent to distribute morphine, Suboxone, Clonodine, Gabapentin and methadone…   read more:

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FEB. 13, 2014

VERMONT – State senators Thursday proposed legislation intended to crack down on the amount of the opiate addiction treatment drug buprenorphine that is being sold on the street. A four-page amendment to a major bill the Senate Judiciary Committee is crafting this session that is related to opiate addiction, proposes stricter rules for doctors who prescribe buprenorphine, also known by the brand name Suboxone…    read more:

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Couple arraigned in 3-year-old’s death…

January 22, 2014

MICHIGAN – A former Fowlerville couple was arraigned Tuesday on felony charges in connection with the death of a 3-year-old girl left in their care. According to court records, Brock and Marme were baby-sitting Brock’s 3-year-old niece, whose mother died of an overdose in July, at his mother’s home in the 4100 block of Amy Drive in Handy Township on Aug. 31 when the couple suspected that the child swallowed a Suboxone pill that belonged to Brock…   read more:

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Buprenorphine abuse documentary…

Reindeerspotting: Escape from Santaland

This free documentary (see below link) follows several young drug abusers, but focuses on Jani Raappana. Jani is a drug addict, whose drug of choice is Subutex (buprenorphine) taken intravenously. He is unemployed and he finances his addiction through thefts, burglaries, and welfare payments. The main character in the movie, Jani Raappana, travelled in May 2010 with the director of the movie Neuvonen to Cambodia.

Raappana died in PhnomPenh July 7th, 2010. According to the local media, Raappana hanged himself.

In January 2013, the director of the film, Joonas Neuvonen, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for drug crimes.

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Toddler, 2-1/2, survives swallowing Suboxone pill…

By James Niedzinski

Staff Writer

December 31, 2013

MASSACHUSETTS – A 2 1/2-year-old girl who swallowed a piece of a Suboxone pill — used as a pain medication and to combat opiate dependence — has been released from a Boston hospital. But the girl survived the Saturday morning incident at her home, according to police, after she was administered two doses of Narcan — the drug carried by Gloucester emergency crews and used to combat the effects of an opiate overdose…   read more:


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Feds raid Reckitt Benckiser offices; criminal probe underway…

Fish & Richardson PC

Jose P Sierra


December 13, 2013

VIRGINIA – Reckitt Benckiser’s offices in Richmond, Va., were raided by a team of IRS and Office of Inspector General (OIG) agents on December  3rd.  The raid comes only a few weeks after the New York Times published an article on November 16 about the incongruity of Reckitt Benckiser’s wonder drug, Suboxone—positioned as both a helpful medication that treats addiction and a potential street drug that fuels dependency.  For the U.K. consumer goods giant, last week’s raid isn’t just more bad news – it’s the worst kind of news any company can get…   read more:

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Former B’ville man discusses drug addiction ‘epidemic’ after losing his 24-year-old son…

Friday, December 6, 2013 3:00 am


NEW JERSEY – He also began going to the Addiction Institute of New York at Roosevelt Hospital, although his attendance was “sporadic” because he was there on an outpatient basis, Williams said. At the same time, he added, the addiction psychiatrist began prescribing Suboxone, a drug used to treat addiction to heroin and other opiates. “You need to take it on a daily basis,” he said. “It was in pill form. You could grind the pills up and snort it and get a high if you don’t take it on a daily basis…   read more:

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Burlington woman charged with homicide in man’s drug overdose death…

By Lydia Mulvany of the Journal Sentinel
Dec. 4, 2013

WISCONSIN – Kristie L. Fitzgerald, 37, was charged with second-degree reckless homicide Tuesday, adding to felony drug and bail jumping charges. David Buchholtz, 53, died of an overdose in August. According to the article, a friend told investigators that he would meet “Chrissy” on Tuesdays to buy drugs after collecting his unemployment check. He was using Suboxone, Oxycontin and heroin…   read more:


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Young women at higher risk of drug-related death…

November 28, 2013

HELSINKI – Researchers tracking the lives of thousands of Helsinki-area drug users find that buprenorphine and amphetamines are especially deadly for women in their late teens and early 20s. Among those seeking help at the Deaconess Institute, buprenorphine has become the most abused drug in the past decade. Marketed for use in heroin treatment, this powerful painkiller is also sold as a street drug. It’s better known under the brand name Subutex…   read more:

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Addiction Treatment With a Dark Side…

By Deborah Sontag, NYTimes

November 17, 2013

NYT – “It is diverted and sold on the black market,” he said. “It is misused, and it does lead to medically adverse consequences, including death. It is associated with a large number of deaths. The addiction drug was a “primary suspect” in 420 deaths in the United States reported to the Food and Drug Administration since it reached the market in 2003, according to a Times analysis of federal data…   read more:

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Suboxone: The Next Drug Epidemic?

30 September 2013
 By Pat Anson, Editor

A drug increasingly being used to treat opioid addiction may be fueling a new epidemic of diversion, overdose, addiction and death in the United States. The drug’s name is buprenorphine, but it is more widely known by its brand name – Suboxone – which for many years was sold exclusively by Reckitt-Benckiser, a British pharmaceutical company. Since Reckitt’s patent on Suboxone expired in 2012, several other drug makers have rushed to introduce their own formulations – hoping to grab a share of the $1.5 billion market for Suboxone in the U.S. “This is insanity,” says Percy Menzies, a pharmacist and addiction expert. “Buprenorphine is one of the most abused pharmaceuticals in the world.” “We took an abused drug and we said let’s use it to treat addiction to heroin and opiates.”   read more:

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Heroin overdoses spike suddenly; 17 deaths since August…


November 02, 2013

LOUISIANA – In reviewing toxicology reports, officials also found two overdose deaths this year involving Suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction. “It’s basically the new methadone,” Clark said…   read more:

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Kingsport mother arrested after child overdoses…

October 30th, 2013 12:08 pm 

by Rain Smith, NET News Service

TENNESSEE –  A Kingsport woman has been arrested after her 1-year-old son overdosed on Suboxone — a prescription medication used to treat opioid dependence — and she delayed seeking help for the vomiting child. Police say the woman called poison control and was told to immediately take her son to the emergency room. She instead waited before transporting him to a fire station, pushing back his treatment at the hospital to 90 minutes after her original call. Emilie A. Rothert, 20, of 3604 Watterson St., Apartment 9, is charged with child abuse and neglect   read more:

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Heroin in Torrington: Friend tells story of apparent overdose victim…

By Isaac Avilucea, The Register Citizen

POSTED: 11/13/13, 11:16 PM EST 

CONNECTICUT – He told adult probation officers he purchased Suboxone — a combination drug of buprenorphine and naloxone used to treat opiate addictions — but the heroin wasn’t his after claiming he was wearing someone else’s pants…   read more:

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Heroin’s here in Dearborn County…

Written by Veronica Chapman

Monday, October 28, 2013 4:27 PM

MICHIGAN – Most addicts don’t start with heroin they start with prescription drugs or marijuana. Sometimes a person will have an accident of some sort and go to doctor and get a prescription and become addicted to the pills…   Then some people trying to quit opiates will go to the methadone clinic and they give them Suboxone or methadone replacing the opiates and addicts become dependent on those drugs to supposedly keep them in recovery…   read more:

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Drug-addicted babies on rise in Tennessee…

October 12th, 2013 7:58 pm

by Becky Campbell

TENNESSEE – “There are more than 100 physicians in our region that is prescribing suboxone, which is a morphine-like substance. We are seeing an excessive number of mothers on subutex and suboxone. These babies are showing significant symptoms of drug withdrawal,” Bharti said…   read more:

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Chalfont parents’ kids tested positive for drugs…

by Mark Macagnone staff writer Michael Macagnone

Twitter @awisefool

Updated 2 weeks ago

PHILADELPHIA – A former Chalfont couple is facing charges after their kids tested positive for cocaine, opiates and other drugs. Jennifer Jackson, 32 and Steven Aprigliano, 48, who now live on Brownsville Road in Lower Southampton, were charged with endangering the welfare of children and other offenses. The couple admitted Jackson used heroin and the bags found in the house were hers as was the Suboxone, a medication for prescription drug addiction, the complaint states…   read more:


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‘Hungry Heart’ film: help or harm?…

Thursday, November 7, 2013 12:00 pm

Rick Barnett

VERMONT – Nearly two-thirds of the film shows Dr. Holmes learning about the lives of his patients with opioid addiction and how to treat them using Suboxone. And yet the film fails to underline how dangerously addictive Suboxone itself is. There is no doubt Dr. Holmes is a saint — a saint who is nonetheless ill-equipped to fight against the devastating power of addiction. Physicians get almost no education and training in medical school and residency on alcohol and substance abuse. In the case of Suboxone, a physician only needs to complete eight hours of in-person or online training to prescribe it in outpatient office-based practice settings…   read more:

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ER study finds 1 in 10 older teens misuse Rx painkillers and sedatives…

OCTOBER 29, 2013

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — With prescription drug abuse at epidemic levels nationwide, and overdoses killing more people than auto accidents in many states, a new University of Michigan study provides striking new data about the misuse of potent prescription painkillers and sedatives by teens and young adults. The study asked teens and young adults about their use of the prescription opioids fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, buprenorphine, and Suboxone, and the sedatives Valium, Serepax, Ativan, Xanax, Librium, Rohypnol, and GHB, among others…   read more:

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Man found guilty of Rock Springs drug death…

By the Star-Tribune staff

September 26, 2013

WYOMING – Jerry Lee Burkholder was found guilty Thursday of distributing a drug that killed Kyle Dollar in Rock Springs. Burkholder was indicted by a federal grand jury in March for unlawfully distributing buprenorphine, which resulted in Dollar’s death…   read more:

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Maine man sentenced for fatal drug overdose…

July 17, 2013 17:30 EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A 23-year-old Maine man is going to prison for nearly six years for giving another man a fatal dose of drugs. Shawn Verrill of South Berwick was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to five years and 11 months in prison. Verrill pleaded guilty in March to distribution of Suboxone that resulted in the death of Miles Malone…   read more:

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Untimely death leads to drug charge for Torrington woman…

Published: Wednesday, July 03, 2013

By Jessica Glenza

BANTAM – The day before a 49-year-old Torrington woman died, police say another Torrington woman sold her an opiate addiction treatment medication, and are charging the woman with narcotics sales as a result. 

Shawna Marcantonio, 30, 386 Brightwood Ave., was charged with felony narcotics sales after she told police she’d given the woman five Suboxone pills…   read more:

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2 year old’s urine tests positive for buprenorphine…

Thursday April 18, 2013


Staff Writer

BENNINGTON — Police said they arrested a man for child endangerment after he attempted to make a 2-year-old child regurgitate an illegally purchased Suboxone pill. William Cote, 32, of Darling Street, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts of cruelty to a child under 10, reckless endangerment, and domestic assault…   read more:

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Salem man caught running “mini-pharmacy”…

Julie Manganis

The Salem News

April 13, 2013, 4:44 a.m.

MASSACHUSETTS – They found nine small plastic bags of heroin and two bags of marijuana on a kitchen table, along with a stack of sandwich bags and a pair of scissors, 13 bags containing hashish and a larger bag of marijuana, a pill bottle that appeared to contain powder cocaine, and two more pill bottles containing Suboxone and Xanax, in Jordan’s bedroom. The officers also seized $424 in cash, five cellphones, a digital scale and two cans that looked like soda containers but that contained false bottoms. They also found a Suffolk University class ring that bore the initials of no one in the apartment. “This was a mini-pharmacy,” Prosniewski told the judge…   read more:


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Sales of prescription pain killers rising; experts see addiction epidemic…

By The Associated Press
on April 05, 2012 at 9:20 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Sales of the nation’s two most popular prescription painkillers have exploded in new parts of the country, an Associated Press analysis shows, worrying experts who say the push to relieve patients’ suffering is spawning an addiction epidemic…   read more:

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Bond set for mother in child’s death…

Updated: Wednesday, 03 Apr 2013, 10:47

Published: Wednesday, 03 Apr 2013, 10:47 AM EDT

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY)  –  A Suffolk judge set bond at $200,000 for Lakesha Lanika Riddick, 32, Wednesday morning. Her daughter, Destiny, died in 2011 after ingesting Suboxone, which was kept in a candy dish at her step-grandmother’s home…   read more:

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Suffolk mom charged in death of 2-year-old daughter…

Mike Connors

The Virginian-Pilot

March 8, 2013

VIRGINIA – Lakesha Lanika Riddick, 32, of Stacy Drive, also faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and abuse and neglect of children, city spokeswoman Diana Klink said. The charges relate to the death of Destiny Riddick, who ingested Suboxone that had been in a candy dish at the home of her stepgrandmother and stepgrandmother’s boyfriend…   read more:,0,4030586.story?track=rss-topicgallery

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Drug overdoses claimed 30 lives in area last year…

Courier Express

Monday, February 11, 2013

PENNSYLVANIA – Clearfield Co.
Morris’ office investigated 234 natural deaths. Another 33 were accidental, including 14 drug-related deaths. Morris said the drug deaths included the “conventional” overdose types as well as multi-drug “cocktails” involving abuse of prescription drugs including Xanax, Klanopin, painkillers and Suboxone, a drug similar to methadone intended to get users off drugs…  read more:

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GlaxoSmithKline Raises Stake in Indian Business, While Reckitt Shakes of Suboxone worries…

From Guardian Web

February 5, 2013

Meanwhile Reckitt Benckiser has added 16p to £42.03, ignoring worries about increased competition for its Suboxone heroin substitute. A number of competitors have written to the US Food and Drug Administration making a case against a citizen’s petition to block future versions of Suboxone on pediatric concerns…   read more:

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Sharp Rise in Suboxone Emergency Room Visits…

January 31st, 2013

by Pat Anson, Editor

SAMSHA – A medication increasingly being used to treat addiction to opioid drugs – both legal and illegal – is sending ten times as many people to hospital emergency rooms as it did a few years ago…   read more…

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Benzodiazepines Plus Buprenorphine Linked to ED Visits…

Fran Lowry

Dec 31, 2012

FLORIDA – Patients receiving Buprenorphine/naloxone treatment as well as an approved prescription for a benzodiazepine had significantly more visits to the ED than those without a benzodiazepine prescription, said study investigator Zev Schuman-Olivier, MD, from Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.Benzodiazepine use and misuse during Buprenorphine treatment has generated a lot of controversy among prescribers and addiction treatment programs. There have been case reports of people who have died from mixing benzodiazepines with Buprenorphine…    read more:

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Child Death Case Moves Forward…

7:44 AM, Dec. 29, 2012

CANTON – Rodgers and Moody are charged with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse for the June 9 death of the toddler inside the Maben Road home where the couple formerly lived. During a preliminary examination in late November in 35th District Court, Canton Detective Tim Wright testified that the toddler died after he ingested Suboxone — a drug used to treat addiction to other substances such as heroin…   read more:

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Suboxone sales estimated to reach 1.4 Billion in 2012 – more than viagra or adderall…


December 10, 2012

COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND – A recent State of Florida medical examiner report found that the number of buprenorphine-related deaths had increased from 6 in 2009 to 27 in 2011 (compared to 62 heroin-related deaths in 2011). These figures likely underestimate buprenorphine-related deaths because, unlike heroin, buprenorphine is not systematically tested for by State of Florida medical examiners. The true magnitude and scope of buprenorphine diversion, misuse, and adverse consequences is unknown because current epidemiologic measures do not systematically monitor buprenorphine. Routine drug testing protocols used by workplaces and the criminal justice system may not include buprenorphine. Similarly, buprenorphine-related deaths are not accurately tracked because medical examiners and coroners do not routinely test for the drug. We believe that in order to maximize the effectiveness and legitimacy of buprenorphine as a treatment for opioid dependence, it is essential that adequate systems for monitoring potential diversion, misuse, and adverse consequences be put in place throughout the country. According to the manufacturer, Suboxone “can cause serious life-threatening respiratory depression and death, particularly when taken by the intravenous (IV) route in combination with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants.”5 Failure to adequately assess the potential risks of diversion and misuse could result in serious public health consequences and more limitations on the drug’s use…   read more:

CESAR FAX 21-49 (Suboxone Sales Estimated to Reach $1.4 Billion)

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Doctor Accused of Overprescribing, Sex Contact with Patients…

Rachel Pritchett

Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, Wash.

December 6, 2012

WASHINGTON – A recurring theme among the patients was that Duggal introduced and increased dosages of powerful drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin and Suboxone without looking at the patients’ previous records or fully justifying the drugs’ use. At times, he continued to prescribe the drugs, even though they were not working. Sometimes this occurred on patients battling addiction…   read more…,0,7521438.story

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Mother, Boyfriend Face Trial in Canton Toddler’s Death…

Written by Darrell Clem

Observer Staff Writer

6:45 PM, Nov. 29, 2012

MICHIGAN – Months before toddler Silas Rodgers suffered a deadly overdose of Suboxone, his mother found him with a pill in his mouth and took him to a medical facility for treatment, Wright testified….   read more…

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Baby Boy Dies; Was Given Pills as a Toy…


October 14, 2011

New York – A 13-month-old boy died after he apparently swallowed pills from a bottle of prescription drugs that his parents had given him to play with as a rattle, the authorities said on Friday. One or both of the parents, Edwin Perocier, 44, and Zoraiva Santiago, 22, gave the child a bottle of Suboxone that belonged to Mr. Perocier, the official said. The medication is used to treat people who are addicted to illegal or prescription opioid drugs…   read more:

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Reckitt’s Suboxone Strategy Really About Patients Or Profits?


10/12/2012 @ 5:13PM

Ed Silverman, Contributor

“They have known for years that a generic tablet could destroy their golden calf — and Suboxone is Reckitt Benckiser, from an earnings standpoint. If they do not destroy the tablet, it destroys them…    read more:

Petition Here: RB Petition

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Massena couple charged after 2-year-old swallows suboxone pill…


FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

MASSENA – Court documents indicated tests run by the hospital had revealed the child had Suboxone in her system when she arrived at the hospital…    read more:

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Natick Man Charged With Selling Heroin After Overdose Call…

By Brad Petrishen/Daily News staff

The MetroWest Daily News

Posted Oct 17, 2012 @ 12:01 AM

NATICK – They also found more than 30 pills, and charged Ferraro with possession with the intent to distribute heroin, buprenorphine hydrochloride (a painkiller), Suboxone (used to treat opiate addiction), lorazapam (anti-anxiety medication), alprazolam (anti-anxiety medication), clonidine hydrochlroide (high blood pressure/ADHD medication) and trazadone hydrochlroide (anti-depressant)…    read more:

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Grandmother Pleads Guilty in Girl’s Death…

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Kimberly Artis, 40, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, felony child abuse and neglect, possession of a Schedule III controlled substance (Suboxone) and conspiracy to possess the controlled substance …    read more:

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Dad Seeks Answers in Son’s Death…

Published: Mon, October 18, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.

YOUNGSTOWN – Nicholas’ canine companion, however, could not protect him from a small prescription pill that would ultimately take his life. The Mahoning County coroner’s office later determined the boy had died of an overdose of Suboxone…    read more:

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