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addiction

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Residents of Southeastern Connecticut held a vigil Thursday night in Montville in response to a string of local overdose deaths this past year.

ehpien flickr.com/photos/91499534@N00 / Creative Commons

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is praising House passage on Wednesday night of the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act. 

Karen Brown / NEPR

About a dozen miles off the coast of Cape Cod sits a rustic island named Penikese — part of the Elizabeth Island chain. A hundred years ago, Penikese was home to a leper colony, then a school for troubled boys and a bird sanctuary. This past fall, Penikese opened to its newest incarnation — a treatment program for opioid addicts.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Sherwood Taylor, a longtime Hartford resident who was attempting to overcome 50 years of addiction to heroin, died earlier this month of causes unrelated to drug overdose. He was just shy of 76 years old.

WNPR profiled Taylor earlier this year. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Police departments in New England and around the country are scrambling to respond to the opioid addiction crisis.

Police departments in our region and around the country are scrambling to respond to the opioid addiction crisis. 

Jeng_Niamwhan/iStock / Thinkstock

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. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Veterans Administration is attempting to reduce the number of former service members suffering opioid abuse and overdose. The VA is now part of a working group with the Department of Defense trying to take a comprehensive look at the problem. 

Karen Brown / NEPR

Massachusetts is one of about 40 states where someone who abuses drugs or alcohol to an extreme can be legally committed to a locked treatment facility. In most cases, a worried family member has to go to court to make that happen.

On the final day of June 2015, Colin LePage rode waves of hope and despair. It started when LePage found his 30-year-old son, Chris, at home after an apparent overdose. Paramedics rushed Chris by helicopter to one of Boston's flagship medical centers.

Doctors revived Chris' heart, but struggled to stabilize his temperature and blood pressure. At some point, a doctor or nurse mentioned to LePage that his son had agreed to be an organ donor.

"There was no urgency or, 'Hey, you need to do this.' I could see genuine concern and sadness." LePage says, his voice quavering.

The Connecticut Opioid Response Team and the state’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Council have supplied Governor Dannel Malloy’s administration with a plan to tackle Connecticut’s opioid crisis.

Nancy Wong/Wikimedia Commons, The White House/Creative Commons / WNPR photo illustration

Drug epidemics are not new in the United States. But there’s something very distinctive about the demographics of this latest wave, which centers around opioid and heroin abuse. It cuts across socio-economic and racial divides. 

elhombredenegro / Creative Commons

Tech giant Yahoo and the Democratic National Committee have been some of the latest organizations to fall victim to high profile hacks. But cyber attacks are also a very real threats to small businesses – many which call Connecticut home.

This hour, we talk cyber security -- how to prevent hacks and stay secure. 

Inmates with substance abuse issues face the highest risk of relapse, or fatal overdose, within the first few weeks of being released from incarceration. Research shows that 80 percent of former inmates with opiate dependence issues will relapse within a month of leaving jail. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Ken Aligata of the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery ran through an inspection of a sober living home in the quiet, picturesque neighborhood of Clinton, Connecticut. Seven people with addiction who are in recovery currently live there, and Aligata wants to make sure it’s a safe environment.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, as part of WNPR’s week-long reporting series on the opioid epidemic, we explore racial disparities within the context of America’s crack cocaine and opioid crises

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Illicit use of prescription drugs has almost tripled among high school students in southeastern Connecticut. That's according to the Southeastern Regional Action Council.

Drug Enforcement Agency

The rate of accidental drug overdose deaths in Connecticut grew again in the first six months of 2016, and the lab drug fentanyl is playing a big role in that. 

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.

frankieleon / Creative Commons

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

Jeng_Niamwhan/iStock / Thinkstock

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. 

When Phillip decided to stop using heroin, he knew sticking around home was a recipe for failure.

"It's just, like, a heroin epidemic on Long Island where I'm from. So I had to get away from that and now I'm in Prescott, Ariz.," Phillip says. NPR agreed not to use his last name because he is struggling with addiction and fears it might hurt his chances of future employment.

frankieleon / Creative Commons

Illicit use of prescription drugs has almost tripled among high school students in southeastern Connecticut. That's according to the Southeastern Regional Action Council.

Some arrive on their own, worried about what was really in that bag of heroin. Some are carried in, slumped between two friends. Others are lifted off the sidewalk or asphalt of a nearby alley and rolled in a wheelchair to what's known as SPOT, or the Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment, at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

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