drugs

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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Pharma Wars
11:52 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Pfizer's Quest for AstraZeneca May Be Over

Pfizer CEO Ian Read
Credit Pfizer

Pfizer's bid for rival pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca looks likely to fail, after the UK business turned down its latest offer.

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Recreational Marijuana
5:52 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Most Voters in Connecticut Support Legal Recreational Marijuana Possession

KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock Thinkstock

At 52 percent supporting legal possession, it's only a slight majority, but a new poll released by Quinnipiac University echoes a nationwide shift in attitudes towards marijuana. The poll also found that 90 percent of Connecticut residents support medical marijuana use. 

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Pharma Wars
5:01 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Pfizer's Read Defends Astra Zeneca Bid

Pfizer CEO Ian Read from a company video
Credit Pfizer

Pfizer's chief executive will face questioning by politicians in the UK this week over the company's bid for rival pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca.

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Pharmaceuticals
8:29 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Tax Breaks Could Be Biggest Prize In Pfizer Deal For AstraZeneca

For now, Pfizer's world headquarters remains in New York. But a deal for AstraZeneca could turn Pfizer British.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 7:00 pm

Pfizer finally fessed up and told the world that it wants to buy British drugmaker AstraZeneca. It wasn't a very well-kept secret.

The New York-based drugmaker confirmed publicly that it approached AstraZeneca in January about getting together. AstraZeneca, based in London, rebuffed the New Yorkers.

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Connecticut First
6:16 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Expanding Do Not Call Registry; Tree-Trimming Plan Ruling

Connecticut lawmakers are attempting to update the state's "Do Not Call Registry" by including unsolicited text messages as well as phone calls. A bill that would add text messages to the list of prohibited activities unanimously passed the Senate on Tuesday. The bill also increases penalties for violations from $11,000 to $20,000 dollars per violation.

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2010 Heist
1:45 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Three More Charged in Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Theft

The Eli Lilly warehouse in Enfield.

Federal authorities have charged three more Florida men in the 2010 theft of millions of dollars worth of prescription drugs from an Eli Lilly warehouse in Connecticut. 

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Opioid Prescriptions
3:54 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

FDA Advisers Vote Against Approving New Opioid Painkiller

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 9:50 pm

A key government panel Tuesday voted unanimously against approval of a powerful opioid prescription painkiller intended to provide faster relief with fewer side effects.

At the conclusion of a hearing, the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted 14-0 against recommending that the agency approve Moxduo, the first drug to combine morphine and oxycodone into one capsule.

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Marijuana Use
2:12 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Pot Smoke And Mirrors: Vaporizer Pens Hide Marijuana Use

Vaporizer pens look like the e-cigarettes that dispense nicotine. But these devices are optimized for a potent marijuana resin with high concentrations of THC.
Courtesy of Grenco Science

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 7:46 am

It's a sunny afternoon at Kelly's Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, and Nikki Esquibel is getting stoned. But you wouldn't know it.

The 19-year-old, who has a medical prescription for marijuana, is "smoking" pot with a handheld vaporizer, or a vape pen. It's sleek, black, and virtually indistinguishable from a high-end e-cigarette.

That's the point, says Esquibel. "I use it mostly around my neighborhood. It's easy to hide." The vapor coming from the device doesn't even have much of an odor.

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Heroin Addiction
11:42 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Senators Blumenthal and Murphy Discuss Heroin Addiction at New Haven Forum

Office of National Drug Control Policy Acting Director Michael Botticelli (left) and Senator Blumenthal discuss how to fight this epidemic.
Credit New Haven Independent Melissa Bailey

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy held a roundtable forum on Thursday about how to deal with the heroin problem in Connecticut. Senator Blumenthal described the situation as an "epidemic and [a] scourge." 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:36 am
Fri April 18, 2014

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. It's short for "molecule," meaning you're getting the "real thing," chemically speaking. Except you almost never do.

This hour, we 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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Connecticut First
6:13 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Examining the State's Heroin Problem; Danbury's Economic Boost; Republicans' Alternative Budget

Heroin use is rising at an alarming rate here in Connecticut and in the northeast. According to U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty, 257 state residents have died from heroin overdoses, many in her district, which covers Torrington and Waterbury. Thursday, Esty met with the mayors of those two cities, along with law enforcement and public health professionals to explore options to combat the problem. 

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Marijuana Use
1:42 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Study Links Casual Pot Use With Brain Abnormalities

(prensa420/Flickr)

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 3:30 pm

Young adults who smoke marijuana at least once a week showed changes in the size and shape of two key brain regions, according to a new study of 20 pot smokers and 20 non-pot smokers between 18 and 25.

This is the first time recreational marijuana use has been connected to significant brain changes.

The findings, a collaboration between Northwestern University and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, were published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

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