drugs

Where We Live
8:19 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Dementia On the Rise: It's Time to Deal With It

Linda Durst is the Medical Director/Vice Chief, Department of Psychiatry The Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital
Chion Wolf WNPR

The Alzheimer’s Association says about five million people in the United States have some form of dementia. They expect that number to increase dramatically as baby boomers age and more people live longer. By 2050, we can expect that number to rise to about a million new diagnoses every year.

Unless things change, many of us will end up in nursing homes.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:15 am
Fri January 2, 2015

The Agony and Utility of Ecstasy

C. Michael White is a Professor and Department Head at UConn’s School of Pharmacy.
Chion Wolf WNPR

"Molly" is the nickname for MDMA, or Ecstasy, and it's short for "Molecule", meaning you're getting the "real thing", chemically speaking. Except you almost never do. On this show, we'll talk about the dangers of Molly, the medical uses of MDMA, and the curious romance between the drug and the form of music known as EDM, Electronic Dance Music.

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Heroin Epidemic
3:06 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Teaching Friends And Family How To Reverse A Drug Overdose

Tina Wolf demonstrates the use of naloxone to community members in Lindenhurst, N.Y., during an overdose prevention training. Georgia Dolan-Reilly (left) of the Suffolk County Prevention Resource Center helped with the training.
Kevin Hagen for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 10:05 am

When Priscilla Graham-Farmer went to get her hair done in Newark, N.J., recently, she noticed the elevator in the building was broken, so she took the stairs. And that's when Graham-Farmer saw him: a young guy sprawled out, not breathing.

"He was literally turning blue," she says. "And everybody was walking over him."

But Graham-Farmer stopped. And looked closer. She saw that he had a needle and some cotton balls. The guy had clearly overdosed.

"I'm screaming in the hallway," Graham-Farmer remembers. "Nobody's answering."

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Drug Research
3:43 am
Mon December 22, 2014

A Family's Long Search For Fragile X Drug Finds Frustration, Hope

Katie Clapp shares a laugh with her son Andy Tranfaglia, 25, at their home in West Newbury, Mass. Andy has a rare genetic condition called fragile X syndrome.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 10:17 pm

For a few weeks last year, Michael Tranfaglia and Katie Clapp saw a remarkable change in their son, Andy, who'd been left autistic and intellectually disabled by fragile X syndrome. Andy, who is 25, became more social, more talkative and happier. "He was just doing incredibly well," his father says.

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Drugs
9:28 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Forum in Middletown Examines Substance Abuse and the Effect on the Young Brain

Rebecca A. and Matt Eacott both shared their stories of addiction and recovery.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Young human brains are delicate, developing things. A panel last week in Middletown focused on how the brain can be affected by drugs, alcohol, and technology. 

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National Football League
12:14 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

DEA Agents Conduct Surprise Inspections Of NFL Teams

Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers tackles Odell Beckham of the New York Giants in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 12:59 pm

Agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency conducted surprise inspections of the staff of at least three National Football League teams on Sunday.

CNN reports:

"The DEA questioned the medical and training staffs of the San Francisco 49ers following the team's 16-10 victory at the New York Giants, agency spokesman Rusty Payne told CNN.

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Administrative Discharge
9:34 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Biden's Son, Hunter, Discharged From Navy Over Failed Cocaine Test

Joe Biden fields questions as his son Hunter Biden looks on at a campaign stop back in 2007 in Dubuque, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 1:57 pm

Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, has been discharged from the Navy after testing positive for cocaine, a source familiar with the matter tells NPR's Tom Bowman.

Navy spokesman Cmd. Ryan Perry tells Tom:

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Rural Communities
12:07 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Task Force Tackles Opiate Addiction in Litchfield County

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington.

Earlier this year, the heroin epidemic in this country was front and center. It's not in the headlines anymore, but that doesn't mean the problem of opioid addiction, fueled by abusing prescription drugs or heroin, has gone away.

Torrington received a lot of attention for the number of overdose deaths there in 2013.  Late last year, community stakeholders came together to form the Litchfield County Opiate Task Force. One of the task force's biggest initiatives to combat the problem throughout the entire county was the creation of a community case manager to work at the local hospital.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:43 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Open Wide, This Won't Hurt a Bit: The Discovery of Anesthesia

Elizabeth Egloff is an award-winning playwright whose many plays include The Swan, The Lover, Wolf-Man and most recently, Ether Dome, currently in production at Hartford Stage. She's also an adjunct professor of Playwrighting at Vassar and Barnard College
Chion Wolf

Living in Hartford almost all my life I've known for years the story of Horace Wells. At least, I know the story I know, which is that Wells was a Hartford dentist who introduced anesthesia. He may have been the first but I've always known there were other pretenders to that crown. 

I also knew that Wells became addicted to one of those products and died a horrible, tragic and ignominious death.

But, that's all I knew and I wondered how widely known that story was. 

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Tobacco
11:58 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Drugstore Chain CVS Kicks Tobacco Habit A Month Early

An unnamed CVS employee removes tobacco products from the store shelves in East Greenwich, R.I.
AP

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 4:59 pm

CVS Caremark has pulled cigarettes from its shelves a month ahead of schedule.

In February, CVS, one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, said it would stop selling tobacco products by October, despite the profits they brought the company. Now cigarettes in the company's stores are history.

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Rhode Island
1:49 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

CVS To Offer Overdose Antidote Narcan Without Prescription

CVS will soon provide the anti-overdose medication Narcan, to customers even without a description. Walgreens was the first nationwide pharmacy chain to provide such as service.

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 11:53 am

CVS Caremark will be joining Walgreens in allowing pharmacists to dispense a life-saving antidote for drug overdoses, without a prescription. That means that soon Narcan will be much more widely available throughout the state.

Rhode Island Hospital drug abuse epidemiologist Traci Green has been working with a statewide overdose prevention task force to get Narcan – also known as naloxone—into as many hands as possible. The drug can rescue someone who has overdosed on an opioid like heroin or prescription painkiller OxyContin.

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Child Health
9:52 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Federal Legislators Want Liquid Nicotine Bottles to Have Safety Caps

An assortment of liquid nicotine bottles.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / lindsay-fox

A dozen Senate Democrats are pushing federal legislation that would require child-proof bottles for the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes.

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Alternatives to Incarceration
8:35 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Instead of Jail, Judges Take More Hands-On Role With Addicts in Connecticut

Support Court participant Rosa, left, with U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant.
Connecticut U.S. District Court

Support courts for defendants with substance abuse issues have existed for over two decades in many states, including Connecticut. They give people an opportunity to seek treatment to avoid the cycle of repeated incarceration. In recent years, federal courts have begun similar programs. 

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Drug Offenders
3:01 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Drug Sentencing Guidelines Reduced For Current Prisoners

Attorney General Eric Holder, seen here Monday, has supported changes in drug sentencing, but the Sentencing Commission went further than he preferred
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 2:51 pm

The U.S. Sentencing Commission on Friday voted unanimously to reduce terms for drug traffickers already in prison.

More than 46,000 drug offenders will be eligible for early release, unless Congress makes a move to stop the plan by Nov. 1.

On average, sentences could be reduced by more than two years.

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Medicine
3:17 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Medical Marijuana to Become Available Later This Summer

Various strains of medical marijuana.
Credit AudioVision / Creative Commons

Later this summer, medical marijuana will become legally available to patients in Connecticut.  

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Connecticut Prepares for Sale of Medical Marijuana

Later this summer, certain patients will be able to legally purchase medical marijuana in Connecticut.
Credit Rusty Blazenhoff / Creative Commons

Approved patients will soon be able to obtain medical marijuana…legally. The marijuana producers who were approved by the state earlier this year will start to get their product out to dispensaries later this summer.

We talk with Commissioner William Rubenstein from the Department of Consumer Protection about the state’s medical marijuana program. 

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Connecticut First
5:39 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Crackdown on Hospital Infections; Marijuana Symposium Held

A federal crackdown on hospital-acquired infections and injuries is underway. Bridgeport Hospital, Stamford Hospital, Yale-New Haven and Danbury Hospital could all be facing fines. Danbury received the worst ranking in the state according to an analysis by non-profit news service Kaiser Health News. Those performing the poorest on key patient safety measures would lose a percent of every Medicare payment for a year starting in October.

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Regulating Drugs
5:05 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Pharmacists to Play Key Role Dispensing Medical Marijuana in Connecticut

Credit Gordon Swanson/Hemera / Thinkstock

About 200 pharmacists and physicians gathered on Wednesday in Southington for the first Medical Cannabis Symposium in Connecticut.

Connecticut is only the state in the country with legalized medical marijuana laws that requires an on-site pharmacist to dispense the drug.

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Massachusetts
8:31 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Trouble In Paradise: Opiate Use Spikes On Martha's Vineyard

A cache of Percocet and other opiates seized by Oak Bluffs police in an arrest earlier this year.
Courtesy of Oak Bluffs Police

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 12:48 pm

Underneath the charm of Martha's Vineyard's picturesque beaches, peaceful woods and luxury homes is a problem: Since August, there have been six overdose deaths on the island.

"That's a phenomenal rate for a community of 16,000 people — and that's not to mention the overdoses that haven't been fatal," says Charles Silberstein, an addiction specialist and psychiatrist at Martha's Vineyard Hospital. "We've had overdoses for years, but I don't think we've ever seen this kind of number or frequency."

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Vermont Public Radio
12:35 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

New England Governors To Hold Drug Summit

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 12:19 pm

For the first time ever, New England's governors will hold a summit to develop common strategies to deal with the region’s growing opiate addiction problem.  

In the last six months, Vermont’s growing opiate problem has received a lot of national attention but it turns out that most of the other New England states are also experiencing similar situations.

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Drug Addiction
10:04 am
Fri May 30, 2014

In Connecticut, a Summit to Explore, and Maybe Expand Narcan Use

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder issued a rare memo calling on more first responders to carry Narcan, a drug that reverses the effects of opiate overdoses. Connecticut held its first-ever "overdose prevention summit" on Thursday to explore ways to expand Narcan's reach. 

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Connecticut First
4:40 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

State Holds Overdose Summit; Texts Added to Do Not Call Registry

The Connecticut Overdose Prevention Summit was held on Thursday in Meriden, bringing together practitioners and policy experts from neighboring New England states, and their Connecticut counterparts, to hear about successful opioid overdose prevention programs.

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Capital Punishment
4:19 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Sentencing Death After the Death Penalty's Repeal

Richard Roszkowski at his sentencing last week. Roszkowski was sentenced to death after his conviction in a 2006 triple murder.
Credit CT-N

In 2012, Connecticut repealed the death penalty for crimes committed after the law was changed. That doesn't mean more people won't end up on death row.  A man convicted of a 2006 triple murder was sentenced to death last week. 

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Antibiotic overuse
4:11 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Connecticut Doctors Urged to Be Prudent When Prescribing Antibiotics

The state Department of Health is urging health care providers to initiate an antimicrobial stewardship program to cut down on the unnecessary use of antibiotics.
Credit rltherichman / Creative Commons

Connecticut officials are urging hospitals and health care providers to curb the overuse of antibiotics. The proliferation of antibiotics has dramatically increased the number of infections resistant to the drug. 

In April, the World Health Organization announced that these strains of bacteria can be found in every part of the world, and pose a serious health threat. 

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Addiction
4:08 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Today's Heroin Addict Is Young, White And Suburban

A heroin user in St. Johnsbury, Vt., prepares to shoot up.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 2:50 pm

Heroin was once the scourge of the urban poor, but today the typical user is a young, white suburbanite, a study finds. And the path to addiction usually starts with prescription painkillers.

A survey of 9,000 patients at treatment centers around the country found that 90 percent of heroin users were white men and women. Most were relatively young — their average age was 23. And three-quarters said they first started not with heroin but with prescription opioids like OxyContin.

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Pharmaceuticals
8:36 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Pfizer Drops $119 Billion Bid For AstraZeneca

William Vazquez AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 7:57 am

It would have been the biggest deal the pharmaceutical industry has seen in more than a decade. But for now, it's off the table.

Pfizer has withdrawn its offer to buy British drug company AstraZeneca for about $119 billion.

American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which makes Lipitor and Viagra, has been circling its smaller rival AstraZeneca for months.

AstraZeneca, which makes Nexium and Crestor, has rejected every offer saying Pfizer undervalues the company, and that it wants to remain independent.

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Lethal Injection
7:12 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

State Lacks Execution Drugs Despite Eleven On Death Row

txking/iStock Thinkstock

Connecticut prison officials have confirmed they do not have a supply of any lethal injection drugs or a way to obtain them, even though there are eleven inmates on death row. 

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Pharmaceuticals
4:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Use of ADHD Drugs Rose Sharply Among Adults, Especially Women

Devonyu Thinkstock

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder isn’t just for fidgety little boys anymore. The number of young adult women taking medications for ADHD jumped by 85 percent between 2008 and 2012, according to a recent report by St. Louis-based Express Scripts, a pharmaceutical benefits company.

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