U.S Attorney General Eric Holder called an increase in heroin overdoses nationwide an "urgent public health crisis" and suggested law enforcement carry Narcan, a drug that can reverse opiate overdoses. States like Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, already train first responders on Narcan. Currently Connecticut police don't carry it - paramedics and hospital staff administer the drug. A dramatic increase in drug overdose is a growing problem in the region but Hartford Police Department spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley believes Connecticut police officers carrying Narcan is a long way off .
There's widespread attention on an increase in heroin overdoses nationwide. On Monday, U.S Attorney General Eric Holder called it an "urgent public health crisis" and suggested law enforcement carry Narcan or naloxone, a drug that can reverse opiate overdoses.
Germany's Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle has left her country's Olympic contingent — and Sochi — after testing positive for a banned stimulant. She's seen here in the biathlon earlier this week; Sachenbacher-Stehle finished fourth.
Germany's Sochi 2014 contingent is reeling from the news that Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, a former Olympic medalist in cross-country skiing who took fourth place in the biathlon Monday, has tested positive for banned substances at the Sochi Winter Olympics. An Italian athlete also tested positive, officials said Friday.
Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 6:02 pm
The way that prescription drugs are advertised on TV could be better, especially when it comes to communicating the risks and side effects of medicines. Now the Food and Drug Administration is calling for research into how the ads could be improved.
The problem, as Michael Wolf, a health services researcher and cognitive scientist at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine describes it, is that most ads work like this:
Over the last six years, heroin use nationwide has nearly doubled. In Connecticut, attention has focused on the city of Torrington, where there are reports of multiple fatalities last year from heroin overdoses.
Heroin use is on the rise in Connecticut and nationwide. According to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, heroin arrests and seizures in the northeast outpace the rest of the country, two to one.
To some it’s "smack"; to others, it’s "tar." But the majority of us know it as heroin, the dangerously addictive opioid drug that has claimed countless lives across the nation.
Less than a week ago, 46-year-old actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died from a heroin overdose in his Manhattan apartment. Sadly, he’s just one of many creative minds lost to addiction. Singer-songwriter Janis Joplin was 27 when an overdose took her life. Frankie Lymon was 25.
But heroin isn’t just a celebrity drug. Its use spans the country -- particularly in northeast states, like Connecticut, where it has become a growing problem among teens and adults.
At Able Care Pharmacy and Medical Supplies in Enfield, Ashraf Moustafa often tries to avert disasters involving drugs displayed on his store’s shelves.
Moustafa, the pharmacy manager, recently spoke to an elderly woman seeking ways to treat dark blue patches on her arms. Instead of suggesting any remedies, he asked the woman what medicines she was taking, and discovered that she was dangerously mixing over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs with aspirin and the prescription blood thinner Plavix. He sent the woman to the hospital, fearing that she was suffering from internal bleeding.
“People have the impression that if a drug is approved for over-the-counter use, then it must be much safer than prescription medicine,” Moustafa says. “That’s when trouble happens.”
The prescription painkiller sold under the brand-name Vicodin contains hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen. To reduce the risk of liver damage, the Food and Drug Administration is moving to limit the amount of acetaminophen allowed in prescription medicines.
Jim Andersen displays butane hash oil at a marijuana growing facility in Seattle in April 2013. The state's licensed producers will be required to use professional-grade equipment when making the extracts.
If you think the recent liberalization of marijuana laws around the country is only about smoking leaves and buds, think again. For users younger than 25, "hash oil" is where it's really at. This concentrated resin of marijuana is creating new public safety headaches — even in places where it's legal.
There have always been forms of the substance, but the resins available today are much stronger than in years past. That's due in part to the expertise developed by medical marijuana producers, who have learned how to make more potent versions of the oil.
In January, the state's Department of Consumer Protection will begin awarding the first ever licenses to medical marijuana producers and dispensers in Connecticut. While the licenses are awarded by the state, it's been left up to individual towns to decide if they want to host one of these facilities. Two communities in Connecticut have taken very different approaches to this new industry.
Students at the University of New Haven are developing a DNA test that could detect contaminants in medical marijuana. Dr. Heather Coyle, a forensic botanist and associate professor at UNH, said patients using pot for medicinal purposes could be harmed by contaminants that they can't see.
"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.
Thirty-seven companies have applied to the state for the right to produce or dispense medical marijuana. The Department of Consumer Protection said it expects to award licenses under the state's new medical marijuana law early next year.
Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:27 pm
Voters in Massachusetts overwhelmingly approved legalizing medical marijuana in 2012. But many local communities are putting temporary bans in place as the deadline for final applications for state licensed marijuana treatment centers approaches.
Connecticut might have to prepare for an even larger role in marijuana regulation, if there's a federal decriminalization of the drug. The state itself is in the midst of implementing a law that allows for the production and dispensing of marijuana for medical purposes.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has supplied some veterans, like Tim Fazio, pictured, with a large amount of oxycodone pills since he returning home after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fazio told reporter Aaron Glantz he was never in acute physical pain, but used the pills to blot out feelings of guilt for surviving when many of his friends did not.
Credit Adithya Sambamurthy / The Center for Investigative Reporting
Last Saturday night, seven people overdosed at a dance music show at Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury. It’s believed they were taking a powerful hallucinogenic drug called 2C-P. Four people collapsed at nearly the same time. By the time police arrived, one 19-year-old had stopped breathing. Officers used CPR and a defibrillator to treat him. The victims were hospitalized and have been released.
We often don't feel a tick on us because they secrete chemicals that numb us to their presence. While they can stay on us for up to one week, the threat of infection is low if we remove them within 36 hours.
Lyme disease gets its name from the Connecticut town, and it’s always been a problem here...but it’s spreading, as far North as Maine and south down to Virginia. Dr. Paul Mead of the CDC says that due in part to the “reforestation” of the Northeast.
Prescription painkillers have become the most widely-used drugs in America, and the Centers for Disease Control says that deaths from overdose are at “epidemic” levels. The death rate has tripled since 1990.
Doctors are prescribing fewer of the opiates, because they fear addiction, abuse and illegal black market sales.
Connecticut passed a medicinal marijuana law last year, but it could be some time before an industry grows in the state. So far, more than 700 patients are on a registry list. Next month, a committee will review the final nitty gritty in terms of regulations for a Connecticut's medical marijuana industry.
After that, the Department of Consumer Protection will begin to accept licenses for dispensaries and producers. Patients diagnosed with any one of 11 disorders ranging from multiple sclerosis to PTSD can qualify.
Eighteen states, plus the District of Columbia, have changed their laws over the last few decades to allow for the usage of marijuana for medical purposes. Patients with a variety of chronic conditions say the drug is the only thing that can ease their pain. In California, the pioneering state in this effort, the widespread abuse of this system has prompted a scaling-back of the number of dispensaries.