Health

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

As heroin and opiate addictions continue to spread among middle class communities, families who never thought they’d face this problem are finding out one simple truth: treating someone for an addiction can be really, really costly. 

As the population of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder keeps growing, so does the number of people with that diagnosis who aren't finding employment.

Though many young adults on the spectrum are considered high functioning, recent research shows 40 percent don't find work — a higher jobless rate than people with other developmental disabilities experience.

Scientists and doctors say the case is clear: The best way to tackle the country's opioid epidemic is to get more people on medications that have been proven in studies to reduce relapses and, ultimately, overdoses.

Yet, only a fraction of the more than 4 million people believed to abuse prescription painkillers or heroin in the U.S. are being given what's called medication-assisted treatment.

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

Dave Mountuori sipped on a coffee and leaned back in his chair at a doctor's office in New Haven. He's 26 years old, and he was there to get a drug that’s turning his life around. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Lawrence and Memorial Hospital is donating the life-saving anti-overdose drug Narcan to six police departments around southeastern Connecticut. 

NPR — together with member stations from across the country — has been reporting on troubles with the Veterans Choice program, a $10 billion plan created by Congress two years ago to squash long wait times veterans were encountering when going to see a doctor. But as we reported in March, this fix needs a fix.

Bart Everson / Creative Commons

Exposure to lead and lead poisoning is a bigger problem in Connecticut than previously thought, and could be a factor in the achievement gap between white and minority kids in the state. 

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

When it comes to understanding heroin and opioid deaths, data matters. But across the country, medical examiners and coroners vary widely in just how much information they provide on death certificates.

Greg Scott/WBEZ / Creative Commons

Efforts to stem the tide of heroin overdoses in Connecticut could get more difficult if a powerful new heroin additive makes its way to the state.

Steve Lyon / Creative Commons

A new study of recent police data finds significant racial disparities in traffic stops in some Connecticut police departments. In this third in a series of stories, WNPR has this report on the analysis that was released this week. 

Robert Huffstutter / Creative Commons

Wilhelm Reich was  a once promising psychoanalyst and scientist under the guidance of Freud in pre-World War II Europe. He promoted "sexual revolution" to support his belief that sexual repression was linked to bodily and societal ills like neurosis and even fascism.

A few weeks ago, Dr. James Bale saw a series of MRI images in a medical journal of MRI scans of babies infected with Zika in the womb.

They scans showed something Bale had seen only a few times in his 30-year career: a phenomenon called fetal brain disruption sequence.

As the fetus's brain starts to grow, it creates pressure, which pushes on the skull and causes it to grow. But if something stops brain growth — such as a virus — pressure on the skull drops. And the skull can collapse down onto the brain.

Amir Attaran, a professor in the School of Public Health and the School of Law at the University of Ottawa, isn't afraid to take a bold stand.

He has written a commentary for the Harvard Public Health Review, published this week, with the headline, "Why Public Health Concerns for Global Spread of Zika Virus Means that Rio de Janeiro's 2016 Olympic Games Must Not Proceed."

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The state of Connecticut is releasing new data this week on police traffic stops and racial disparities. In advance of that release, WNPR is taking a closer look at the interactions between police and the people they pull over.

In this second story in a series, we visited a police department that has taken a hard look at its numbers and made some changes.

jfcherry/flickr creative commons

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine are launching new technology that will allow patients to access their medical records and take a more active role in their own healthcare. 

Michael Burghardt couldn't sleep. His legs were shaking, his bones ached and he couldn't stop throwing up.

Burghardt was in the Valley Street Jail in Manchester, N.H. This was his 11th stay at the jail in the last 12 years. There had been charges for driving without a license, and arguments where the police were called. This time, Burghardt was in after an arrest for transporting drugs in a motor vehicle.

826 Paranormal / Creative Commons

When people are found not guilty in a court case by reason of insanity, how often do they end up back in trouble? 

A new report by the Connecticut Coalition To End Homelessness says homelessness in the state is at an all-time low, with fewer than 4,000 homeless people in Connecticut since counts started in 2007.

Every year the Coalition does what’s called a point-in-time count, where they count all homeless people in the state on a given night.

The National Institutes of Health is overhauling the leadership of its world-renowned Clinical Center, after an independent task force found the center was putting research ahead of patient safety.

Chris Yarzab / Flickr/Creative Commons

The state of Connecticut is releasing new data this week on police traffic stops and racial disparities. In advance of that release, WNPR is taking a closer look at the interactions between police and the people they pull over.

In this first story of a series, we speak with a man who is suing the Bridgeport police for an allegedly unlawful search. 

Ugly Dolls / Flickr Creative Commons

What does it mean to say that someone, or something, is ugly? For a label that gets tossed around so often, its meaning is hard to pin down. Perhaps that's because, throughout history and around the world, our notions of ugliness have shifted considerably.

Tony Bacewicz / C-HIT

Nearly 60,000 Connecticut children under age six were reported with lead exposure in 2013, and an additional 2,275 children had high enough levels of the toxin in their blood to be considered poisoned.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Dr. Gail Christopher has been a crusader for better health outcomes in America, championing an idea that “place matters,” finding that the way people live in some communities puts them at a much higher risk for disease. 

What Feds' Push To Share Health Data Means For Patients

May 9, 2016

Two years ago, when the federal government first released data on how much Medicare paid physicians, the media coverage was widespread. Doctors who earned significant sums were dubbed "Medicare millionaires" and journalists highlighted unusual patterns in how some doctors bill for services.

Tom / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy joined state officials in Hartford on Friday to discuss the Zika virus.

Kenyan rescue workers freed a woman from the rubble of a building in Nairobi on Thursday, six days after its collapse.

Then, just hours later, the Kenya Red Cross said three more people — a man and two women — were rescued alive.

NPR's Gregory Warner in Nairobi tells our Newscast unit that the collapse of the six-story building on Friday killed at least 36 people. He adds that dozens are still missing. Here's more from Gregory on the first rescue Thursday:

"I will not rest, and I'm going to make sure that the leaders at every level of government don't rest until every drop of water that flows to your homes is safe to drink, and safe to cook with, and safe to bathe in," President Obama told an energetic audience in Flint, Mich. "Because that's part of the basic responsibilities of a government in the United States of America."

A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine says medical errors should rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States — and highlights how shortcomings in tracking vital statistics may hinder research and keep the problem out of the public eye.

Doctors in Vermont will soon face new limits on the number of narcotic pain pills they can prescribe to patients.

CarbonNYC [in SF!] / Creative Commons

If your cabinets are filled with leftover prescription drugs, you'll have an opportunity to clean them out on Saturday. 

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