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drugs

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.

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The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has just issued new guidelines for the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs. It is now recommended that doctors consider prescribing a statin starting at a younger age. 

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What is the future of higher education?

This hour, we preview an upcoming Connecticut Forum with one of the forum panelists -- Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, III. The President of the University of Maryland Baltimore County tells us how his school encourages diversity and innovation.

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.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

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

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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. 

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Voters in Massachusetts approved the recreational use of marijuana starting in 2018. It's a measure some Connecticut legislators have pushed for in the past without success. But now proponents think the tide might be changing in Connecticut. 

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A study published this week in JAMA Pediatrics finds a significant increase in the number of hospitalizations of kids due to opioid poisoning.

Young children and teenagers are increasingly likely to be poisoned by opioid painkillers that are often prescribed for other family members, a study finds.

The rate of children hospitalized for opioid poisoning increased 165 percent from 1997 to 2012, from about 1.40 per 100,000 kids to 3.71 per 100,000.

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.

CT-N

Children with certain medical conditions can now legally begin receiving medical marijuana in Connecticut. Governor Dannel Malloy signed legislation that extends the state’s medical marijuana program to minors for the first time. 

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. 

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David DesRoches has been traveling the state talking with students about how schools are handling the rise in prescription drug use among Connecticut teenagers.

If you vote in Massachusetts, you’ve probably had a least one debate with a friend this year about whether the state should allow marijuana for recreational use.

But have you looked at the mechanics of the legal marijuana industry that ballot Question 4 would create? We’ve summarized key elements, in case you don’t have time to read all 24 pages of the proposed act before voting on Nov. 8.

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

Patrick Skahill

Patients and caregivers seeking the opioid-reversal drug naloxone can now get the medication without a doctor’s prescription. That’s thanks to a state law that went into effect one year ago allowing pharmacists to prescribe and dispense the drug. 

States that have legalized marijuana are contending with a new criminal tactic — smugglers who grow and process it for export to states where it’s illegal and worth a lot more.

If there were a hall of fame for criminals, it would have to include notorious Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.

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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.

Five states are voting this fall on whether marijuana should be legal, like alcohol, for recreational use. That has sparked questions about what we know — and don't know — about marijuana's effect on the brain.

Connecticut DEEP

State environmental police will now carry naloxone, a drug that blocks the effects of opioid overdoses.

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. 

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