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addiction

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As opioid overdose deaths rapidly increase, the U.S. Surgeon General is urging more people to carry naloxone, the overdose-reversal drug. The recommendation is strongly supported by The Connecticut State Medical Society.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

When it comes to the nation’s opioid crisis, substance abuse affects more than the addict. More and more children are entering the foster care system every year at an unprecedented rate.

A pipe was the only sign of drug use near Chris Bennett’s body, in November. But it looked like the 32-year-old Taunton native had stopped breathing and died of an opioid overdose. Bennett’s mother Liisa couldn’t understand what happened. Then she saw the toxicology report.

“I’m convinced he was smoking cocaine that was laced,” she says. “That’s what he had in his system was cocaine and fentanyl.”

Source: United States Census Bureau, Connecticut Department of Public Health Credit: Patrick Skahill

Figures on overdose deaths grab headlines, but treatment data could save lives. In response, health officials have released new information on emergency room visits for drug overdoses, numbers that paint a fuller picture of the state's opioid crisis.

Lydia Brown / WNPR

It’s the deadliest drug crisis in our nation’s history and communities in Connecticut are coming together to talk about solutions.

This hour, we listen back to a recent opioid panel recorded at Gateway Community College in New Haven.

What’s the best way to support individuals and families battling substance abuse -- especially when one size does not fit all?

Drugmakers gave millions of dollars to pain-treatment advocacy groups over a five-year period beginning in 2012, in effect promoting opioids to individuals most vulnerable to addiction, according to a new report released Monday by a U.S. senator.

Purdue Pharma

Purdue Pharma, the Stamford-based maker of Oxycontin, says it will no longer be marketing its bestselling opioid to physicians. 

Carl Jordan Castro / C-HIT

Out of work and addicted to the anti-anxiety medication Klonopin, Heather Delaney, a licensed practical nurse from Stratford, checked herself into Bridgeport Hospital in 2011 when she could no longer handle withdrawal without medical help.

Erowid Center

It’s been declared a national public health emergency. In the United States, the annual number of deaths from opioid overdose has surpassed the number of deaths during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the ‘90s.

But opioid users aren’t the only victims of this crisis. 

Kevin Doncaster / flickr

The history of sugar is a complicated one. Once available to only the rich and powerful, sugar now shows up in everything from cereals and soups, to cigarettes and body scrubs. It is known to both have medicinal qualities and to contribute to a variety of health problems.

Chris Vaughan / Creative Commons

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CT VA

Last winter, a veteran was revived with Narcan after he overdosed on heroin and collapsed just outside the doors of the VA hospital in West Haven. In 2016, another veteran at the West Haven facility was not so lucky. He died of an overdose in a public restroom.

Driving down the main commercial artery in Muncie, Ind., it seems the job market is doing well. The local unemployment rate stands at 3.8 percent, and there are hiring signs posted outside the McDonald's, a pizza joint and at stop lights.

Around 2007 — the last time the market was so tight — job applicants came streaming through the offices of Express Employment Professionals, a staffing agency that screens and places about 120 workers a month, mostly at the local manufacturing firms.

Daniel Case / Creative Commons

The city of Waterbury has filed a lawsuit accusing multiple pharmaceutical companies of causing the opioid addiction and overdose crisis. 

Erowid Center

The office of Connecticut's Chief Medical Examiner released some grim statistics earlier this week. With a record 539 accidental drug deaths in the first six months of 2017, this could be the deadliest year ever for drug overdoses in Connecticut.

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