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Almost four years after Protein Sciences began selling its innovative flu vaccine, the Meriden company still struggles to gain a foothold in a marketplace dominated by pharmaceutical powerhouses.

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How mental illness is treated across our nation could change under a new federal law.

This hour — the Mental Health Reform Act — what is it and what does it mean for mental health and substance abuse treatment in our state?

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The number of deaths from heroin and synthetic opioids continues to rise in New England, according to data just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Xerox Corporation

Xerox has announced it will keep its headquarters in Connecticut, after it splits off its document management arm into a separate company. The state will give Xerox a $4.4 million low-interest loan to retain its 150 workers in Norwalk. The company said it may also add between 20 and 40 jobs over four years. 

BMS

As one of Connecticut's giant pharma companies announced it will exit the state for good, advocates for the biotech sector said it's vital to try to keep talented workers from Bristol-Myers Squibb in the state. The pharmaceutical company has announced it will shutter its Wallingford campus by the end of 2018. 

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It will be legal Thursday to possess small amounts of marijuana, or to grow it for recreational purposes, in Massachusetts. But that isn’t the the case in neighboring states, where pot possession remains illegal. And law enforcement in some of these places are getting ready.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

President Barack Obama signed into law on Tuesday the 21st Century Cures Act. The new legislation contains $1 billion in funding to combat the opioid addiction epidemic. Connecticut activists say that it's vital this state secures its fair share of the money. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

A man who used his recovery from opioid addiction to inspire others has been shot dead in a confrontation outside a bar in Groton. Joey Gingerella, who was 24, was apparently intervening after he saw a man assaulting a woman in the parking lot of Ryan’s Pub. 

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.

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