North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum: Our criminal justice system has an opioid problem

By Gov. Doug Burgum | Fox News

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Since the age of 14, Jyssica Noble’s primary motivation has resulted in an overwhelming set of circumstances: she experienced periods of homelessness; she struggled to find work; she lost her son to foster care after police raided her hotel room; she served several stints in jail.

For the majority of Americans, Jyssica is just one of the many people who has fallen victim to the opioid epidemic. For Jyssica, now 26, each year consumed by her addiction is a painful symbol of life lost.

“That’s the biggest thing heroin takes away from you: time,” Jyssica shared with me recently. She and I, along with North Dakota First Lady Kathryn Burgum, sat down together as part of Face to Face, an initiative led by the National Reentry Resource Center and The Council of State Governments Justice Center, which gives policymakers opportunities to hear directly from people who have firsthand experience with the criminal justice system.

Following a 2017 arrest that resulted in a felony theft charge and a probation sentence, Jyssica was referred to Free Through Recovery, a statewide behavioral health program launched earlier this year that links people on probation and parole with community-based recovery support services, including counseling, peer support and access to employment and housing opportunities. Thanks to a team that includes her probation officer, a peer support specialist and counselors at one of our state’s many local Free Through Recovery providers, Jyssica now has a built-in support system that helps her stay on a path to recovery.

Listening to Jyssica’s story in person and learning directly about her experiences, her challenges and her hopes and dreams, further opened my eyes to the devastating impact of substance addiction and helped illustrate what state policies can do on an individual level.

In North Dakota, as is the case in many rural states, the disease of substance addiction is the most urgent social issue. More than 80 percent of people in North Dakota’s prisons have a substance addiction, and half of all arrests in the state are substance-related. Recognizing the severity of the problem, we’ve designated behavioral health and addiction as one of our administration’s five strategic initiatives.

Even after they are released, people like Jyssica often find themselves back behind bars due to the lack of treatment options available to them – a damaging cycle that takes a toll on individuals, their families and the system at large.

To address this far-reaching problem, a bipartisan group of state and local leaders, law enforcement officials, behavioral health specialists and other community leaders came together to take on Justice Reinvestment, a data-driven approach that identifies evidence-based policy solutions designed to create a more efficient and effective criminal justice system.

These efforts resulted in two pieces of Justice Reinvestment legislation that our state legislature approved and I signed into law last year, one of which created the program that supports Jyssica’s recovery. The new measures empowered our state to buck the traditional response of incarcerating people with behavioral health needs and instead direct resources toward implementing innovative, local solutions that will increase access to high-quality treatment. Our executive budget proposal for the 2019-21 bienniuim recommends increasing funding for Free Through Recovery by nearly 65 percent to expand the program to those beyond the criminal justice system. There’s far more work to be done in North Dakota, but Jyssica’s experience shows that we’re on the right track.

Toward the end of our conversation, Jyssica proudly told me that she has an apartment of her own for the first time, works a full-time job and is excited about her future with her son – a relationship that seemed almost impossible during the height of her struggle with addiction.

Governors and other policymakers in all states should get to know the faces of the opioid epidemic in their state’s criminal justice system. With commitment to programs like Free Through Recovery, we can continue to build a criminal justice system that opens minds to rehabilitation and opens doors to recovery. (Click to Source)

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Are all pharmaceuticals designed for population control?

Monday, September 24, 2018 by: S.D. Wells

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(Natural News) What’s the fourth leading cause of death in the United States? Don’t guess heart attacks, cancer, respiratory disease, strokes, diabetes, or traffic accidents. It’s death by prescription. That’s right, doctors in America are pushing “legal” drugs and people are taking them as prescribed and still falling off like flies. On average every year in America, there are about 40,000 deaths from motor vehicle wrecks, another 40,000 from firearm-related deaths, and then there are nearly 130,000 drug overdose deaths. Now, we know what you’re thinking. It’s just a bunch of suicides and junkies taking too many hard core street drugs. Nope. Wrong.

The CDC attributes the massive spike in overdose deaths to our nation’s exploding opioid addiction. Could that be the main reason the U.S. is still engaged in a “war” in Afghanistan? The poppy farming and distribution has also massively spiked since “W” Bush invaded the world’s home to heroin production. Now, Big Pharma in the United States is one huge cabal, and the drug dealers are medical doctors who scribble their signature on a piece of paper that propels one of the most dangerous addictions on planet earth – diluted heroin.

Two of every three Americans takes at least one prescribed drug regularly – all experimental “prescription” chemicals that are extremely dangerous

New drug approvals are at an all-time high. They’re fast tracked through the FDA (Fraud and Death Administration) and stamped for approval by the pharma mafia who participate in the FDA’s revolving door – back and forth from the cabal (Merck, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Sanofi, Bayer, Bristol Myers Squibb, etc) to approving drugs that make them filthy rich. Nobody gets busted for insider trading at the FDA or working for Big Pharma.

As the opioid overdose epidemic sweeps across America, killing children, teens, young adults, rich folks, old folks, and anybody who partakes, health care providers make no attempt to regulate the abuse, in fact, they perpetuate it. Doctors and pharmacists alike cross-prescribe drugs for conditions that the drugs aren’t even tested or marketed for, if that even mattered in the first place.

Doctors prescribe more drugs to treat the horrific side effects of the drugs patients are already addicted to and dying from. People take their friend’s prescribed drugs, visit multiple doctors, then deal prescription drugs at school and college. The FDA can’t even keep up with all the adverse events reported, and when people are prescribed a dozen different medications, nobody knows what the hell is really wrong with them anymore.

Prescription drugs are a prescription for an early death, just as the quack allopathic “doctors ordered”

In 2018, 130,000 people will die as a result of taking medications as prescribed by their doctor. These are supposedly medical professionals who are just winging it now. Even though they all went to medical school for eight years, all they do is scribble out multiple prescriptions for experimental concoctions.

Unless you have a deep wound or a broken bone, you might as well be writing your own epitaph — and will when you start taking prescription pharmaceuticals, because you’re heading full steam towards an early grave, and there’s no predicting how quickly that surprise might arrive.

The U.S. government can’t afford to pay everyone the social security money they earned their entire hard-working lives, and it’s no longer part of the master plan anyway. The country is in debt $20 trillion dollars and counting. Massive inflation is on the way. Besides organic food, most American food is poisoned with pesticides, fluoride, GMOs, artificial flavoring, synthetic coloring, and processed until it’s all void of nutrition.

Hospital food will kill you all by itself, if the medications and the superbugs (MRSA and CRE) don’t get to you first. Vaccines are loaded with mercury, aluminum, embalming fluid for the dead (formaldehyde), blood from other animals including human abortions, E. coli (seriously, they are), and genetically modified organisms. Let’s face it folks, prescription medications and vaccines are weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

It’s all about reducing the world’s population, and the formula is toxic food followed by toxic medicine, including vaccines

By far, the most deaths (about 2,500 per week) and hospitalizations are occurring from pharmaceuticals that are properly prescribed by physicians and taken “as directed.” This does not include people who die from prescribing errors, self-medicating, or overdosing. The most drastic, dire warnings called “Black Box” warnings, only come out seven years after FDA-approved drugs start killing people off in big  numbers.

Big Pharma wants to make their billions before settling court cases in the millions. It’s all about the money and taking people “out” early. No drugs are removed from the market until chronic carnage has already taken place.

Only a few drugs have ever been pulled from the market. Do you remember the Vioxx scandal? People were dying from strokes and heart attacks from Merck’s blockbuster painkiller. Then there was the killer diet drug called Meridia. The irony is that nearly all chronic ailments, diseases and disorders now prominent in America are caused by eating processed food daily. Then, the “sheeple” are prescribed deadly drugs and it doesn’t even matter if they take them “as recommended” by their M.D. quacks.

Got pain? Got anxiety? Got depression? Try eating organic food, drinking real spring water, and visiting a Naturopath Physician. Unless you plan on being another zombie suffering from brittle bones, mutated cells and dementia, you might want to veer clear of prescription drugs – the fourth leading killer in the United States of America. Just check the Pharma Death Clock if you have any doubts.

Want to learn the cure for 97 percent of diseases? Watch this video of Dr. John Bergman. And see DangerousMedicine.com for more reports on the dangers of prescription medications. (Click to Source)

Sources for this article include:

Health.USnews.com

NaturalNews.com

CenterOnAddiction.org

MedicalNewsToday.com

NaturalNews.com

CDC.gov

FDA.news

PharmaDeathClock.com
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As powerful new opioid nears FDA approval, critics ask if U.S. is stoking its drug crisis

Published: Oct 21, 2018 11:25 a.m. ET

The product consists of an opioid that is 500 times stronger than morphine but drugmaker defends its need

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A sign for Naloxone hangs on a wall at a class for opioid overdose prevention held in New York City in 2017.

A new, potent opioid medication intended for quick pain relief has become the center of a maelstrom of controversy as the drug nears a U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval decision.

The drug, Dsuvia, consists of a single-dose tablet of sufentanil, a synthetic opioid that is many times more potent than fentanyl and 500 times stronger than morphine. The tablet comes in a preloaded plastic applicator that is used to deposit the medication under a patient’s tongue.

The FDA’s Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee recently recommended Dsuvia for U.S. approval, with a 10-3 vote, and an final decision is expected by Nov. 3. The FDA often follows such recommendations but is not obligated to do so.

But critics, most notably Dr. Raeford Brown, the chair of the committee, have spoken out against the product, worrying about putting another strong opioid on the U.S. market as the country continues to wrestle with a devastating opioid crisis.

In addition, the design makes it more divertible, he told MarketWatch, meaning that an individual who doesn’t have a prescription might be able to obtain the product. Other voices speaking out against the drug include the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, which co-signed a letter with Dr. Brown to FDA leaders, and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who recently called on the FDA to reject the medication.

“This drug offers no advance, in my mind, over previously available opioid formulations, but provides great risk of harm to patients and the general public health,” Brown, who is a professor of anesthesiology and pediatrics at the University of Kentucky, told MarketWatch on Friday.

Moreover, “I just don’t believe at this point in the U.S. that there is any good reason to put another potent opioid on the streets,” he said.

Dsuvia’s manufacturer, Redwood City, Calif.-based drugmaker AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. ACRX, -12.53%  , says that these concerns are unfounded.

The product is made up of one, 30 microgram tablet, a dose-adjusted amount of sufentanil that is no stronger than any other opioid already available in the U.S., said Dr. Pamela Palmer, co-founder and chief medical officer of AcelRx.

The design, meanwhile, makes it easier for medics to use on a battlefield, and could help elderly or obese patients, for whom an intravenous opioid can be difficult and oral opioids take some time to start working, she said.

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AcelRx’s opioid product Dsuvia consists of a tablet of the potent opioid sufentanil. Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pamela Palmer says that because the product is dose-adjusted, it is no stronger than any other opioid already available in the U.S.

“When I tell you this dose is not enough to get many drug addicts excited about it — it’s enough drug to treat an elderly woman who had a hip replacement,” Palmer said.

Palmer told MarketWatch that AcelRx’s product would only be distributed in medically supervised settings, like a hospital or ambulatory surgery center, which have to be certified through the company’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) program. Dsuvia wouldn’t be available at a pharmacy, say, for example, Walgreens, Palmer said.

She also pointed to the FDA advisory committee’s recommendation in support of the product.

Brown was not at the vote, as a major anesthesiology conference was happening at the same time — something he says he told the FDA about, though the regulator did not move the meeting.

But Brown said that while the FDA has worked hard to try and find a way to prevent diversion of prescription opioids, it has proven a difficult task. REMS programs are intended to avoid these types of harms but haven’t been successful, he said.

His advisory committee recently reviewed a REMS program for a transmucosal fentanyl that was only supposed to be for patients with cancer pain, he said, “and it became clear that there was no controlling that drug once it came to market.”

“In reality, once a drug is marketed, the FDA has no control over it. Then it becomes the [Drug Enforcement Administration’s] problem, and the DEA has enough problems with trying to keep black-tar heroin out of the country,” Brown said.

AcelRx shares dropped 13.7% in extremely heavy Friday trade. Company shares have surged 21% over the last three months, compared with a 1% decline in the S&P 500 SPX, -0.04%  and a 1.7% rise in the Dow Jones Industrial AverageDJIA, +0.26%  . (Click to Source)
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As opioid crisis raged, Insys pushed higher doses of addictive drug and pushed salespeople to ‘own’ doctors

Published: Oct 19, 2018 7:19 a.m. ET

Concerning sales tactics involving a potent opioid medication were highlighted in a new Senate committee report

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Family members of those who died of opioid overdoses take part in a rally to end the opioid epidemic in Washington, D.C., in 2016.

To sell addictive opioids, sales representatives were encouraged to “own” doctors, keeping a close eye on how and how much they prescribe.

Speaker programs that helped drive sales left out safety problems and, in one instance, didn’t say that Insys, the drug’s manufacturer, was sponsoring the event.

And high dosages of the addictive opioid Subsys were linked to bonus payments, with company presentations encouraging this behavior through slogans like “Strength Makes the Difference” and “Don’t Forget the Doses.”

“It is much easier to take an existing patient and double their units (which in essence is the same as generating a new prescription),” one sales manager wrote, referring to patients as “low hanging fruit.”

Those tactics and more were hallmarks of drugmaker Insys Therapeutics Inc.’s INSY, -2.20%  approach at the height of the opioid crisis, according to a new report from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s minority staff.

The Chandler, AZ-based Insys has become notorious for the role it played in advancing America’s devastating, drawn-out opioid crisis, which continues to this day.

Subsys consists of the potent opioid fentanyl, formulated in a spray that allows the drug to work faster. Approved for use in managing cancer patients’ pain, Subsys came on the U.S. market in 2012, and sales grew to roughly $329 million in 2015, at what appears to be the peak.

After a Department of Justice investigation into the company’s promotion of the medication, Insys agreed to pay at least $150 million in fines. Former executives as well as doctors also had criminal charges brought against them.

The new report “pertains to past events involving former employees that would have occurred well before 2016 and have since been dealt with by the company,” said Insys spokesperson Joe McGrath. McGrath had not reviewed the report when he spoke with MarketWatch and did not comment specifically on the facts cited in the report.

Pharmaceutical companies often bring in speakers, usually doctors, to discuss their products and drive sales. Insys viewed speaker programs as the crown jewel of its sales strategy.

The programs “are basically the ONLY thing you should be focusing on to increase your sales,” Sales executive Alex Burlakoff wrote to all sales personnel in 2013, according to the Senate committee report. “If you are not living, eating, and breathing [Insys speakers programs] to drive sales, you should not be in specialty pharma.”

In fact, speaker programs generated six times more revenue per prescriber, according to an internal company presentation cited in the report. Doctors also got more speaking opportunities when they met the prescribing expectations that Insys set for them, the report said.

However, the speaker programs had serious problems, including the omission of safety information in more than one presentation — something an outside consultant brought up with the company in 2014.

Insys later cut down on, and then stopped, the speaker programs, the Senate report — based on 1.6 million pages of internal company documents that were requested by Sen. Claire McCaskill — noted.

Insys also encouraged salespeople to push off-label prescriptions of Subsys, or prescriptions of the drug intended for non-cancer patients, the report found.

An external consultant called this strategy “troubling” in 2016, according to the report, saying that it “incentivized non-compliant behavior and was way outside the norm.”

Internal company communications also instructed employees that they must “own” doctors, including by tracking doctors’ prescribing rates and encouraging them to prescribe more, according to the new report.

Representatives should “[o]wn your territory — own a doctor — and own your destiny,” Burlakoff wrote in another email to sales representatives.

Insys’ opioid sales tactics have been the subject of many additional lawsuits, including from the state of New Jersey and health insurer Anthem. Opioid litigation, which has been brought against many drugmakers and drug distributors, could well rival the well-known lawsuits against Big Tobacco.

Insys shares rose 1% in Wednesday trade. Shares have surged 21.7% over the last three months, compared with a 0.1% rise in the S&P 500 SPX, -0.04%  and a 2.5% rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.26%  . (Click to Source)
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New opioid is 500X more powerful than morphine and it could be on the market soon

By: Justin Gray

Updated: 

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WASHINGTON, DC – There are concerns over a new, even stronger opioid – and an FDA committee is recommending its approval.

Critics warn the new drug could be even more dangerous than oxycotin or fentanyl.

The question critics are asking is why would the FDA want to approve a stronger opioid right in the middle of a nationwide addiction crisis.

An DSUVIA is 500 times more powerful than morphine.

“It’s 5 to 10 times more potent than fentanyl and it actually goes underneath your tongue,” said Public Citizen’s Meena Aladdin.

The pill dissolves immediately when placed under the tongue by an applicator, meaning besides being powerful, it’s more fast-acting than other opioids.

The FDA drug advisory committee voted overwhelming 10 to 3 to recommend approving the drug Friday.

Critics like Aladdin said the strength and speed of DSUVIA make it attractive to addicts.

“It is yet another drug on the market that could allow for another avenue for abuse,” Aladdin said.

The drug maker, Acelrx said in a statement: “We believe DSUVIA represents an important non-invasive acute pain management option with potential to significantly improve the current standard of care.”

The FDA rejected approving the drug last year because of concerns it could get into the wrong hands.

So this time, the application included guidelines states that the drug must be administered by a trained healthcare professional.

This vote is not the final say. The FDA does not have to follow the committee’s recommendation, but usually does.

An FDA spokesman told Channel 2 Action News they don’t comment on specific drugs pending approval. (Click to Source)

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Lake County prepares to sue opioid makers

  • Updated 

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Lake County is poised to join a national wave of lawsuits against the makers of opioid-based painkillers.

The county commissioners have retained a group of Texas- and Montana-based law firms to represent them in a lawsuit against several drug manufacturers. This step links Lake County to hundreds of other local governments who charge the companies with stoking the opioid-abuse crisis.

The Centers for Disease Control report that overdose deaths from prescription opioids increased fivefold from 1999 to 2016, claiming more than 200,000 Americans in that time. Prescription opioid overdoses have killed 700 Montanans since 2000,according to the state Department of Public Health and Human Services.

This problem has drained county resources, said Commissioner Dave Stipe. “We know that there were costs, just like we know how meth costs us money.”

In recent years, state attorneys general, and local and tribal governments, have started trying to recoup these costs by taking the drug makers to court, accusing them of deceptive marketing practices that denied or downplayed the painkillers’ risks. One of their main targets, Purdue Pharma Inc., did not reply for a request for comment on this story, but has denied these allegations when they’re raised in other lawsuits, and stressed its commitment to being part of a solution to the opioid epidemic.

In May, hundreds of these cases were bundled together in a massive multidistrict litigation in the federal court system’s Northern District of Ohio, where Judge Dan Aaron Polster will start hearing the first cases next year.

One of the key firms involved in this litigation, Dallas-based Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett P.C., has partnered with Montana firms to represent Treasure State communities.

“Of the 56 counties, the most populated counties have been approached,” said attorney Scott Stearns, a shareholder at Missoula’s Boone Karlberg P.C. The firm, in conjunction with Simon Greenstone and others in the state, now represents Cascade and Gallatin counties, as well as Anaconda-Deer Lodge and Great Falls.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have secured representation from Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry LLP — a firm specializing in Indian law — in partnership with other firms, but they have not yet filed any complaints.

Stearns explained that, when filed, Lake County’s complaint will closely resemble the one that Cascade County filed last November. It accuses Purdue and several other drug manufacturers of fielding a deceptive, multi-pronged marketing campaign that transformed opioids from a rarely-used painkiller into a profitable product line, at devastating financial and human cost.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox made similar accusations against drug makers in a lawsuit currently pending in state court. But while that case seeks court-ordered penalties for the drug makers’ alleged violations of state laws, as well as reimbursement of Medicaid and other state funds that Purdue obtained through its activities, Commissioner Stipe explained that Lake County is focused on other needs.

“We’re suing for what it costs the police to respond, what it costs the court to prosecute, what it costs the health department” — the local toll of the opioid epidemic.

“It’s under the theory of, ‘You broke it, now you have to buy it,’” Stearns said. “They’ve broken the system here in America, and now they have to pay for the solution, and the solution is usually at the community level.”

At the same time, “we want to be somewhat selective” in picking cases. “We want to make the best case we can, and some counties have more clear-cut cases than others.” Stearns and his colleagues identified Lake County and the Flathead Indian Reservation as areas with “more of an opioid and drug problem than other areas that lead to jail overcrowding and dependent-neglect” cases.

George Simpson, a sergeant with the Polson Police Department, has seen these challenges firsthand. “When you have users, that obviously becomes a strain on first responder resources, and we try as hard as we can,” he said. His agency is currently training officers to administer naloxone, a lifesaving nasal-spray medication that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose.

But the challenge goes far beyond reviving users. “You start to see an increase in property crimes, you start to see an increase in domestic violence,” as users’ habits prompt them to steal, and sour their relationships. “Treatment centers can be expensive,” too, he added.

All of these ills have drained public coffers in Lake County, Stipe said. “We don’t have the hard data yet, but we know for sure that some of the people who served hard time in jail … were there because of opioid addiction,” he said. Stearns agrees. “Early on we recognized Lake County as an important client to have to tell the full Montana story,” he said.

Under the retention agreement, the law firms will receive compensation up to 25 percent of gross recovery from the case, in addition to attorney’s fees and litigation-associated costs. “In the event that no recovery is realized, the law firms shall receive no compensation or reimbursement,” the contract states.

While a county employee will be designated to monitor the claims, Lake County is not required to assign a staff member to pursue them. “Lake County and the Law Firms both recognize that the claims present numerous factual and legal obstacles and that no assurance of success on the claims has or can be made,” according to the retention agreement.

Some Montana localities have been wary about litigating their opioid problems. In January, Butte-Silver Bow County Commissioners voted against joining the fight, citing the lawyers’ profit motives, the litigious trends in U.S. society and the absence of solid local data on the matter.

Missoula County Commissioners voiced similar concerns last November, with Deputy County Attorney John Hart telling the Missoula Current that “we have not seen, at least from a criminal justice standpoint, a significant opioid problem in Missoula County that’s costing us a lot of money and that we can quantify.”

In a follow-up email to the Missoulian, Hart said that County Commissioners did discuss the topic over the summer, but “no decisions have been made” yet. The City of Missoula has not yet decided whether to take part.

Lake County will need to tally the costs of its opioid problem for inclusion in a Plaintiff Fact Sheet. Commissioner Stipe expects that any damages or settlement funds that reach Lake County will be distributed to the involved groups in proportion to the costs they bore.

However the litigation plays out, the Polson Police Department’s Simpson predicts that resolving the problem will take time.

“The whole country didn’t get in this problem overnight, so it’s not going to be an overnight solution.” (Click to Source)

 
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Demi Lovato Reportedly Suffering Complications 6 Days After Apparent Overdose

By JOHN CONNOR COULSTON 

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Demi Lovato is still in the hospital after suffering from an overdose on Tuesday.

Despite being in the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Califoria, for six days, the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer has not been discharged due to various “complications,” according to TMZ.

The outlet’s sources, who are said to have “firsthand” knowledge of Lovato’s treatment, say she has a high fever, bad nausea and other ailments. TMZ characterized her as still being “very, very sick.”

There is no word on when Lovato will be discharged from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, but she is still expected to recover.

“She is under the care of medical experts and is expected to make a full recovery,” a source told the outlet.

Once Lovato is discharged, she is expected to head straight to a rehabilitation facility. Her family have allegedly been “making plans” for Lovato’s treatment, which comes after Lovato’s streak of sobriety ended earlier in 2018.

“Demi is recovering and her loved ones are so incredibly thankful she has pulled through. They know how lucky she is to be alive and are relieved she’s getting another chance,” a source told Entertainment Tonight. “She is a fighter and has beat this in the past, so they know she can live a clean and sober life again. Her mother is by her side,” the source continued.

What caused Lovato’s overdose is not yet known. Lovato reportedly refused to tell medical professional what substance she was on at the time of her hospitalization. Unverified reports have claimed either heroin or a methamphetamine caused the overdose.

Fans have also been looking for a connected party to blame for Lovato’s situation, and her friend/backup dancer, Dani Vitale, has been accused the most. However, Vitale took to Instagram on Sunday night to clear up her involvement in the incident.

“I was not with Demi when the incident happened, but I am with her now, and will continue to be because she means the world to me just as she does to all of you,” Vitale wrote. “Like all of you, I have nothing but love in my heart for her. There is no need for negativity towards the ones who care about Demi at this time. There is too much of it in this world as it is.”

No other updates on Lovato’s condition are available at this time. (Click to Source)

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