WNPR

addiction

A year ago, Maine was one of the first states to set limits on opioid prescriptions. The goal in capping the dose of prescription painkillers a patient could get was to stem the flow of opioids that are fueling a nationwide epidemic of abuse.

Maine's law, considered the toughest in the U.S., is largely viewed as a success. But it has also been controversial — particularly among chronic pain patients who are reluctant to lose the medicine they say helps them function.

ep_jhu / Creative Commons

In 2016, there were 917 accidental drug deaths in Connecticut, most of them from opioid abuse, according to the office of the state’s Chief Medical Examiner.

frankieleon / Creative Commons

Drug overdose deaths in Connecticut have surpassed the national average for several years now.

This hour, we talk with a former heroin addict about how he got into recovery — and his advice for others struggling with addiction. 

ep_jhu / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s Wheeler Clinic is piloting a new outreach program aimed at cutting the rate of opioid addiction among teenage girls. 

The American Cancer Society says Connecticut is one of two states that has not provided funding for tobacco prevention from money received from a 1990s settlement between the tobacco industry and 46 states.

Philip Kirby says he first used heroin during a stint in a halfway house a few years ago, when he was 21 years old. He quickly formed a habit.

"You can't really dabble in it," he says.

Late last year, Kirby was driving with drugs and a syringe in his car when he got pulled over. He went to jail for a few months on a separate charge before entering a drug court program in Hamilton County, Ind., north of Indianapolis. But before Kirby started, he says the court pressured him to get a shot of a drug called Vivitrol.

Nikita2706 / Wikimedia Commons

For the first time in its history, the Food and Drug Administration has announced it’s looking at ways to reduce nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels.

A White House commission released a report this week on America's opioid crisis with an urgent recommendation — that President Trump declare it a national emergency.

Digital Game Museum / flickr

It should be no surprise that video games have the potential to become addictive. But a spate of recent events has shown they can also be deadly: From young players dying of mid-game heart attacks to parents so immersed in their virtual environment that they forget to feed their children.

More than 30 governors from across the US are gathering in Providence for the summer meeting of the National Governors Association. An epidemic of opioid abuse in the states is one of the top problems facing the elected officials.

The acting head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy is in Vermont this week to study the state’s response to the opioid crisis.  The nation’s “drug czar” says the Green Mountain State’s programs and efforts are models that can be emulated nationally.

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.

Tony Bacewicz / C-HIT

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.

Pages