On the CBS show The Talk, Grammy Award-winning rapper and actress Eve revealed that she had abused prescription pills and alcohol to cope with her problems. Eve, whose track “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” (with Gwen Stefani) won the Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2002, starred in a self-titled UPN sitcom as well as XXX and all three Barbershop films. “I was out of a toxic relationship, I didn’t have a TV show, I didn’t have a record deal. I was just kinda like, what is happening with my life?” she explained. “I started drinking, and drinking, and drinking because I didn’t want to deal with my emotions. I didn’t have anybody to really talk to. I was even popping Xanax and drinking to numb my pain.” A 2007 DUI, however, ended up changing her life forever—for the better. “I knew [the DUI]would force me to deal with my ‘S’, my stuff, and I did, and thankfully, I did and was able to get healthy,” she observed. “I finally started figuring out the things that I needed to do to make myself healthy.”
Mental Health Advocate Margot Kidder Dies
Actress and mental health activist Margot Kidder passed away at age 69 this week. Best known for portraying Lois Lane in the Superman film franchise that also starred Christopher Reeve, Kidder became an advocate for mental health awareness in recent years. The actress struggled with addiction issues as well as bipolar disorder, punctuated with an infamous breakdown in 1996 when she disappeared for several days, only to be found hiding in the bushes behind a house in Glendale, California. “I’m not saying it’s all over,” Kidder said at the time. “I’m saying this is the pattern of my life. In three years I might be having another wig-out. I have no idea. I just have to accept the fact that this is me, or I ain’t gonna make it.”
More State Lawsuits Leveled Against Purdue Pharma
Reuters reported Wednesday that six more US states have sued OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma for their role in the nation’s crippling opioid epidemic. Nevada, Texas, Florida, North Dakota, North Carolina and Tennessee join other states that have filed similar lawsuits, claiming that the drugmaker “violated state consumer protecting laws by falsely denying or downplaying the addiction risk while overstating the benefits of opioids.” Through deceptive marketing, the lawsuits say, Pharma Purdue made billions while they also kicked off a crisis that killed 64,000 Americans in 2016 alone. “It’s time the defendants pay for the pain and the destruction they’ve caused,” Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi said.
FDA Approves First Non-Opioid Treatment for Opioid Withdrawals
Rather than fighting fire with fire when it comes to opioid withdrawal, the FDA approved the very first non-opioid treatment for use. Lofexidine hydrochloride, otherwise known as Lucemyra, aims to lessen opioid withdrawal symptoms in adults. The drug doesn’t entirely prevent withdrawal symptoms and can only be prescribed for a maximum of two weeks, the FDA noted, but it “can be used as part of a broader, long-term treatment plan for managing [opioid-use disorder].”
Philly Med Schools to Treat Opioid Addiction with Pot
Five Philadelphia medical schools were granted licenses to research marijuana and its effect on treating opioid abuse this week. “The research component of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program sets it apart from the rest of the nation,” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said. “Today, medical research is so limited by the federal government that only a few doctors can even have access to medical marijuana. Pennsylvania’s premiere medical schools will be able to help shape the future of treatment for patients who are in desperate need not just here, but across the country.” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, however, cautioned that medical marijuana shouldn’t be a substitute for already-established treatments for opioid-use disorder: “In Pennsylvania, medical marijuana will be available to patients if all other treatment fails, or if a physician recommends that it be used in conjunction with traditional therapies.” Over a thousand individuals died in Philadelphia in 2017 from drug overdoses.
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