A powerful drug that's normally used to tranquilize elephants is being blamed for a record spike in drug overdoses in the Midwest. Officials in Ohio have declared a public health emergency, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says communities everywhere should be on alert for carfentanil.

The synthetic opioid is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, the prescription painkiller that led to the death earlier this year of the pop star Prince. Fentanyl itself can be up to 50 times more deadly than heroin.

Lori Mack / WNPR

Medicine to reverse drug overdoses and training on how to use it was offered Wednesday at an event in New Haven.

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Four years ago, Connecticut became the 17th state to legalize medical marijuana. By 2014, the state officially launched its medical marijuana program, making it possible for card-holding patients to buy the drug legally. This hour, we get an update on that program from Connecticut's Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris. We also hear from a Connecticut woman who saw how the program helped her husband, and we check in with doctors and dispensaries in the state. 

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An offer by the maker of the lifesaving medical device EpiPen to make a lower-priced generic version was criticized by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal as a marketing ploy. Mylan Pharmaceutical Company has hiked the price of EpiPen approximately 400 percent since 2009.

Lori Mack / WNPR

Scientists in Connecticut believe new information could indicate the Zika virus is more of a threat than previously thought.

Dr. Theodore Andreadis, Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, said new findings from the University of Texas have just been published.

Newly released government data paint a sobering picture of safety on the nation's roads and highways.

In 2015, the number of people who died in auto accidents reached 35,092, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a 7.2% increase over 2014. The last time there was such a large single-year increase was back in 1966 when Lyndon Johnson was president.

Treatment for life-threatening allergic reactions is about to get a little cheaper.

Mylan, the maker of the EpiPen, said Monday that it will launch a generic version of the device for half the price of the brand-name product.

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Governor Dannel Malloy's administration has announced plans to privatize dozens of group homes for the developmentally disabled in Connecticut.

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State officials are preparing to respond if there are any signs the Zika virus is being transmitted in Connecticut. Experts from several state agencies met Wednesday to put together a plan to combat the spread of the disease.

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For most of time, microbes ruled the planet alone. Microbes have been around for billions of years - long before people ever began to inhabit the earth.  Am I giving you a good picture of how small humans are in this grander view of life? 

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Doctors in Connecticut are working together to reduce the amount of prescription opioids prescribed after surgery. 

As expected, the Zika outbreak in Florida is growing — though how fast is still difficult to say.

State and federal health officials say mosquitoes are spreading Zika in two neighborhoods of Miami, including Miami Beach. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told pregnant women Friday not to go into these neighborhoods — and to consider postponing travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.

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Why are some people more susceptible to addiction than others? How does genetic makeup influence a person’s chances of becoming an addict? This hour, we find out how researchers at Yale University and The Jackson Laboratory are working to better understand the science of addiction. 

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You've probably heard of MDs, medical doctors, but what about another type of physician: NDs? Naturopathic doctors now want to be allowed prescribing rights in Connecticut.

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Five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease -- the sixth leading cause of death in this country. There are many caregivers who provide unpaid care for their relatives with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementias -- but it’s not an easy role to fill.

This hour, we explore caregiving and how it can impact a person’s physical and emotional health -- and their finances. 

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Investigators say a short in the lighting of a ride at New London's Ocean Beach Park caused six kids to receive an electric shock Tuesday afternoon.

It's not often in the midst of an antitrust fight that the public gets a look at the gamesmanship that's happening behind the scenes.

But thanks to the Huffington Post's Jonathan Cohn and Jeff Young, we got a glimpse at how health insurer Aetna is making its case to acquire rival Humana — and new insight into Aetna's decision announced Tuesday to pull out of Obamcare exchanges in 11 states.

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The baby was born full-term and healthy, but now, just a few weeks later, lay limp and unresponsive, barely breathing.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is taking on the National Hockey League for what he calls "apathy and indifference" to concussions among its players.

Hebrew HealthCare

Hebrew HealthCare, which runs a nursing home, hospital and a wide range of care services in the greater Hartford area, announced it will lease out its flagship facility and restructure the rest of its operations under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Dozens of Connecticut doctors accepted six-figure payments from drug and medical device manufacturers in 2015 for consulting, speaking, meals and travel, with six of the ten highest-paid physicians affiliated with academic institutions, new federal data show.

Esther Shittu / WNPR

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal met with members of the CaroGen Corporation in Farmington on Wednesday to discuss what can be done to help develop vaccines for the Zika virus.

The Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws, keeping the drug for now, at least, in the most restrictive category for U.S. law enforcement purposes.

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Cumberland, Rhode Island popped up on a list of cities and towns that have unsafe levels of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. It’s used to make Teflon. It turns out those levels have dropped significantly in the town over the past year.

Rhode Island Keeps Tabs on Zika

Aug 9, 2016

The Rhode Island Health Department has confirmed 18 cases of Zika virus -- a disease linked to a severe birth defect called microcephaly. 

The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report all of the Rhode Island cases were contracted outside of state lines. 

The mosquito known to carry Zika in Florida is not established in Rhode Island. However, the state may be at risk for another mosquito which also carries the virus.