drugs

The musician Prince had an appointment to meet with an addiction doctor the day after he died, a lawyer for that doctor said during a news conference this afternoon.

Minnesota Public Radio reports:

Doctors in Vermont will soon face new limits on the number of narcotic pain pills they can prescribe to patients.

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If your cabinets are filled with leftover prescription drugs, you'll have an opportunity to clean them out on Saturday. 

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Physicians, patients, and drug manufacturers are often at the center of discussions about pain and opioid abuse. But what about insurance providers? One Connecticut company said it's found a way to better manage pain, while reducing the number of prescribed opioids. 

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Protein Sciences, the Meriden-based vaccine maker, is setting its sights on the Zika virus. 

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Two more fatal overdoses in southeastern Connecticut have once again highlighted the struggle that police and emergency services face in combating the heroin epidemic.

As part of a new statewide initiative in Connecticut, law enforcement will now treat all overdoses as crime scenes with the goal of getting to the source of the deadly drugs. 

Some users of LSD say one of the most profound parts of the experience is a deep oneness with the universe. The hallucinogenic drug might be causing this by blurring boundaries in the brain, too.

The Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has opened a new student-run pharmacy in downtown Schenectady. WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was on hand for the ribbon-cutting.

Pfizer and Allergan won't be merging after all, the companies announced Wednesday.

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Irish competitor Allergan were planning to combine into the largest pharmaceutical giant in the world.

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Proponents of legalizing marijuana in Connecticut are urging state lawmakers to capitalize on the "novelty factor" of becoming the first New England state to allow recreational use of the drug. 

U.S. companies will find it much harder to reduce their taxes by merging with foreign firms under new rules introduced by the Obama administration, and that's already throwing the fate of one big deal in doubt.

Shares of Allergan were down sharply Tuesday, as investors questioned whether its $150 billion merger with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will still take place.

When Kevin Polly first started abusing Opana ER, a potent prescription opioid painkiller, he took pills — or fractions of pills — and crushed them into a fine powder, then snorted it.

When Opana pills are swallowed, they release their painkilling ingredient over 12 hours. If the pills were crushed and snorted, though, the drug was released in a single dose.

"Just think about it," Polly says, "12 hours of medicine, and, 'BAM!' you're getting it all at once."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Rep. Joe Courtney joins us to talk about what he's working on in Washington, D.C. for his constituents in eastern Connecticut. One national issue hitting his district particularly hard is the heroin epidemic. What is the federal government's role in combating this problem? 

Also, the U.S. Navy announced this week that Electric Boat would be the main contractor for a new submarine program. How's the health of the rest of the defense industry in the region?

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Senator Chris Murphy spent Monday taking a deep dive into Connecticut's heroin and opioid addiction crisis, what he called a "day in the life."

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A major group representing Connecticut doctors said it may support a bill limiting first-time opioid prescriptions if the final legislation allows prescribers some discretion. 

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Hartford HealthCare has opened a new addiction treatment center in Cheshire as part of an effort to battle opioid addiction in as many communities as possible. 

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A bill that would allow children with certain medical conditions to be prescribed marijuana passed a key legislative committee Monday. 

Connecticut lawmakers are moving closer toward allowing qualified patients under 18-years-old to use medical marijuana to treat their debilitating illnesses.

The General Assembly’s Public Health Committee overwhelmingly approved the proposed legislation on Monday. It now awaits further action in the House of Representatives.

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Doctors in Connecticut may soon be limited to writing a seven-day prescription for opioid-based medication. It's part of an effort to curb drug overdose deaths in the state.

Here's how I knew I liked Patti Trabosh.

It goes back to the very first time I called her out of the blue to ask whether I might profile her family for a story on opioid addiction. The very first words out of her mouth were, "I'm pissed off!"

Trabosh went on to explain why she was angry. First, it was the struggle to find a bed in a drug treatment program for her 22-year-old son Nikko Adam. He had become addicted to prescription painkillers and then heroin when he was still in high school. He'd been in rehab twice before, and relapsed both times.

Doctors have long disputed the accusation that the payments they receive from pharmaceutical companies have any relationship to how they prescribe drugs.

There's been little evidence to settle the matter, until now.

A ProPublica analysis has found that doctors who receive payments from the medical industry do indeed prescribe drugs differently on average than their colleagues who don't. And the more money they receive, the more brand-name medications they tend to prescribe.

State lawmakers will consider several bills designed to fight opioid addiction and overdose deaths.

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services has scheduled a suite of bills designed to address the state’s ongoing heroin and prescription drug crisis. One would mandate insurance coverage for at least 90 days of inpatient addiction treatment for patients who meet certain standards. That’s in contrast to the 30 days or less most insurers allow. 

The epidemic of opioid abuse that's swept the U.S. has left virtually no community unscathed, from big cities to tiny towns.

In fact, drug overdose is now the leading cause of injury death in this country: more than gun deaths; more than car crashes.

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Walgreens announced plans to install take-back kiosks for prescription drugs at pharmacies around the country and in Connecticut, but the state's Department of Consumer Protection said those kiosks aren't likely to appear here anytime soon. 

When she was 17, Tracey Helton Mitchell was prescribed an opioid pain killer after getting her wisdom teeth extracted. The medicine helped her deal with the pain related to the extraction, but when the prescription ran out, her desire for its euphoric high remained. That's when she turned to heroin.

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This hour -- from Maine to New Hampshire; Vermont to Massachusetts -- we learn how some of our New England neighbors are working to stem opioid addiction and overdose. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

According to the CDC, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012. That's enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills at home. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Take a look inside your cupboard or medicine cabinet and you're likely to find pills from prior visits to the doctor. 

C-SPAN

Democrats in the U.S. Senate used debate on a bipartisan opioid abuse prevention bill to call for action on President Barack Obama’s eventual nominee to the Supreme Court.

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