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This week, as senators have decamped from Washington for the Fourth of July recess, the future of the Senate's Affordable Care Act replacement plan — and by extension, Medicaid — remains uncertain.

The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Millions of Americans are addicted to the powerful prescription painkillers, and tens of thousands are dying each year from overdoses.

A new report out Thursday offers a bit of hope: Doctors are prescribing opioids less often, and the average dose they're giving patients has dropped, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Last May, Samantha Collins’s drug use, legal problems and dealings with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families forced her to strike a bargain with the agency.

There’s a new tool in the fight against drug overdose deaths in Rhode Island. Publicly available boxes containing naloxone, an anti-overdose drug, have been installed in various social service agencies in Providence.

Dr. Geoff Capraro, a physician at Rhode Island Hospital, helped design the so-called NaloxBoxes, which he likens to a fire extinguisher.

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Connecticut lawmakers unanimously passed legislation that will take additional steps to address the state’s opioid crisis.

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Of the many strange behaviors we humans have engaged in, few seem more abhorrent than cannibalism. But the act of feasting on another human's flesh cannot be so easily dismissed as simply disgusting or deviant. Freud, in fact,  believed cannibalism played a role in the birth of religion itself.

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The state's efforts to control the opioid addiction crisis are getting a boost from new federal funding. Connecticut will receive a $5.5 million federal grant. 

A man named Eddie threads through the mid-afternoon crowd in Cambridge’s Central Square. He’s headed for a sandwich shop, the first stop on a tour of public bathrooms available for drug use. Eddie, whose last name we’re not including because he uses illegal drugs, knows which restrooms on Mass. Ave. he can enter, on what terms, at what hours and for how long.

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Twenty years ago, a lot of Icelandic teens were drinking too much. But an innovative program changed that.

This hour, we talk with the American researcher who helped combat the problem by tapping into natural highs — like sports. If the program has worked, why aren’t other countries following suit? We find out.

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Is marijuana a harmless way to relax or a dangerous gateway drug? The science says “no” and “we don’t know,” respectively. Arguments for and against legalization often misrepresent the medical effects of cannabis, some experts say.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Hartford is one of the cities hit hardest by the opioid epidemic in Connecticut. But in an effort to help balance its budget, the state wants to move a drug and alcohol detox program in Hartford to Middletown. Officials say the move could save the state $2 million over the next two years.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Cities across the state have struggled to crack down on mismanaged "sober houses" -- residences where people with addiction can pay to live in a drug and alcohol free environment.

Aetna, one of the nation's largest insurance companies, says that starting in March it will remove what's been a key barrier for patients seeking medication to treat their opioid addiction. The change will apply to all its private insurance plans, an Aetna spokeswoman confirmed. Aetna is the third major health insurer to announce such a switch in recent months.

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Yale researchers say treatment for opioid addiction should start in hospital emergency departments. Results from an ongoing study released Monday find positive long-term benefits.

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