MTPR

Opioids

Tim Fox is Montana's attorney general.
Courtesy Montana DOJ

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox says the Montana County attorney who has implemented an immediate ‘crackdown’ on pregnant women found to be using drugs or alcohol never consulted with him.

Jacqui Crisp of Columbia Falls lifts her squirmy daughter out of the stroller to carry her during a trip to the grocery store. Crisp moved to Montana to be near family who would support her through drug treatment and the final months of pregnancy.
Rikki Devlin for the Missoulian

Pregnant women using opioids in Montana aren’t receiving adequate care, according to a joint investigation by the Missoulian and the University of Montana Journalism School. As a result, more infants in Montana are being born dependent on narcotics. That means they can experience withdrawal symptoms - anywhere from fussiness and trouble feeding to seizures or death in extreme cases.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox at a press conference in Helena Monday
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Montana is suing the pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma. Attorney General Tim Fox held a press conference today to announce a consumer protection lawsuit against the Connecticut-based company.

Fox says Montana is joining over a dozen other states in alleging Purdue Pharma holds some of the blame for the rise in abuse of opioid drugs across the nation. Drugs like Perdue’s painkiller Oxycontin.

Amanda Reese with a naloxone kit. Reese works at Missoula’s Open Aid Alliance, which operates a needle exchange and other health services.
Edward O'Brien

A lifesaving drug that can reverse opioid overdoses is now more widely available in Montana. State health officials today highlighted that, thanks to a new law that went into effect in October.

The law, passed this spring with unanimous support, makes it possible for nearly anyone to get a prescription for the medication, called naloxone. That includes friends and family members of a person at risk of overdose, first responders, and other organizations like needle exchanges.

Attorney General Tim Fox announcing a new report about drug abuse in Montana, September 19, 2017.
Corin Cates-Carney

A new report from the Montana Department of Justice released today says meth violations are up more than 500 percent in the last five years. And since 2010, heroin crimes are up more than 1,500 percent, contributing to Montana having the highest jail incarceration rate in the region.

The DOJ’s initial "Addressing the Impact of Drugs," or "AID" report provides a look into the data of Montanan’s use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs.

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