drugs

To say that Pam Livengood made an impression on Hillary Clinton’s campaign might be an understatement.

The Keene resident first met Clinton last year, on the candidate’s first campaign visit to New Hampshire. At the time, she spoke up about how her family’s been affected by the state’s substance abuse crisis – she took over guardianship of her grandson a few years ago because of issues stemming from her daughter's drug addiction.

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Governor Dannel Malloy recently signed legislation that would expand Connecticut’s effort to combat the opioid epidemic. At the same time, he announced a partnership with a team of doctors from Yale University to help develop a strategic plan.

The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

The bill, which had previously passed the House, will now be sent to President Obama. He has indicated that he will sign it, despite concerns that it doesn't provide enough funding.

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Stamford’s Purdue Pharma, the company that makes the controversial painkiller Oxycontin, has responded to a damning article in The LA Times that accused Purdue of turning a blind eye to abuse of the powerful opioid.

Lori Mack / WNPR

In response to the recent rash of overdoses in New Haven, medical professionals are going out into the community to teach people how to use naloxone -- or Narcan -- the overdose antidote.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Sherwood Taylor remembered the time he saw a friend die of an overdose, just feet away from where he sat on his bed in his Hartford apartment.

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Gunfire and three blasts at the airport in Istanbul yesterday left at least 40 people dead and hundreds wounded. It’s yet another strike against Turkey, a country that's on the front lines of a migration crisis and a war against terrorists. Some U.S. lawmakers, meanwhile are trying to make it harder for those on the terror watch list to get guns, including House Democrats who staged the latest high-profile demonstration last week. But that other issue, migration, was the key to the victory of the "Leave" campaign in the United Kingdom, as they voted to exit the E.U. 

State Prepares to Tighten Prescription Monitoring

Jun 28, 2016
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Connecticut’s shift next month from weekly to “real-time” reporting of prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances is an effective way to help stem opioid-related deaths, a new study suggests.

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New Haven officials are declaring a public health emergency after nearly 20 people overdosed on tainted heroin or cocaine and at least three died in the city and surrounding towns.

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For lawmakers looking to address the crisis of drug addiction and overdose, limiting access to prescription painkillers and increasing availability of opioid-reversal drugs like naloxone have been two major policy points. A legislative push in Connecticut now aims to expand access to treatments as well. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Emergency rooms all over the country are seeing a huge surge in the number of people being brought in after overdosing on opioids or heroin. There’s no doubt this is a disruption for staff and a strain on resources. But one Connecticut hospital has decided this point of contact with the opioid epidemic actually represents a huge opportunity.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new law aimed at combating Connecticut’s opioid and heroin epidemic will go into effect on July 1, 2016. The legislation, Public Act 16-43, has been described as one of the most comprehensive opioid laws in the country and includes several key provisions -- among them: a seven-day limit on all first-time, non-chronic pain opioid prescriptions. 

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As Connecticut continues to deal with the consequences of opioid abuse, a new national survey says most people prescribed painkillers in America get more than they need -- and many are saving those pills for later use. 

One impact of the addiction epidemic has been a skyrocketing rise in newborns experiencing withdrawal after being exposed to opioids in the womb. 

From 2006 to 2011, the number of newborns in withdrawal more than doubled in New Hampshire, and hospitals say the problem is only getting worse.

An independent tribunal has suspended Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova from play for a period of two years after she failed a drug test, the International Tennis Federation says.

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For some patients looking to break their addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers, there's a drug out there that works. It’s called Suboxone, but government regulations and individual doctors have made it difficult to get, which is leading many to buy it illegally. 

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

Pressing for the same or nearly the same limits on opioid prescriptions is one of the ways New England’s Republican and Democratic governors are working together to address the drug epidemic.

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, both Democrats from Connecticut, met with public health officials and law enforcement in Stamford on Tuesday for a forum on the opioid and heroin epidemic. Himes says the epidemic is affecting more well-off communities, like Stamford, and he asked how Connecticut could use emergency federal funds to fight it.

Office of Gov. Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy signed into a law on Friday what he called "the most comprehensive strategy" in the nation for combating opioid addiction and overdose. 

Monsanto has rejected a $62 billion takeover bid from Bayer as "incomplete and financially inadequate," but left the door open to further negotiations with the German chemical and pharmaceutical giant.

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New data show a surge in drug overdose deaths in Connecticut during the first three months of this year involving the opioid fentanyl.  The information was released on Friday by the State’'s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill.

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Why are prescription drugs so expensive? And what can be done to make them more affordable? A forum held Wednesday in Hartford aimed to answer those questions.

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

As heroin and opiate addictions continue to spread among middle class communities, families who never thought they’d face this problem are finding out one simple truth: treating someone for an addiction can be really, really costly. 

Scientists and doctors say the case is clear: The best way to tackle the country's opioid epidemic is to get more people on medications that have been proven in studies to reduce relapses and, ultimately, overdoses.

Yet, only a fraction of the more than 4 million people believed to abuse prescription painkillers or heroin in the U.S. are being given what's called medication-assisted treatment.

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

Dave Mountuori sipped on a coffee and leaned back in his chair at a doctor's office in New Haven. He's 26 years old, and he was there to get a drug that’s turning his life around. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Lawrence and Memorial Hospital is donating the life-saving anti-overdose drug Narcan to six police departments around southeastern Connecticut. 

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

When it comes to understanding heroin and opioid deaths, data matters. But across the country, medical examiners and coroners vary widely in just how much information they provide on death certificates.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

WNPR is launching a new series on the heroin epidemic gripping the state. This hour, we hear from one of the reporters leading the investigation.

Also, the state's ongoing budget problems are causing problems for a lot more people than just number crunchers and policy wonks. We check in with two former state employees who lost their jobs in a recent round of layoffs.

The pharmaceutical company Pfizer said Friday it will move to prevent its drugs from being used in lethal injections.

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Efforts to stem the tide of heroin overdoses in Connecticut could get more difficult if a powerful new heroin additive makes its way to the state.

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