drugs

Third-Hand Exposure
7:40 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Northwest Meth Houses To Get Scrubbed Under EPA Program

The Salishan public housing development in Tacoma is one of the sites that will be tested and cleaned through an EPA grant.
Tacoma Housing Authority

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 3:31 pm

Federal dollars meant to restore toxic areas like old factories, mines and gas stations are now going to clean up after another long-time industry: methamphetamine.

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Drug Wars
6:54 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Migrant Heads Home To Mexico — And Joins Fight Against Cartel

Reny Pineda was born in Michoacan, Mexico, but grew up in Los Angeles. In 2010 he returned to his homeland, and joined a vigilante battle against a ruthless cartel ruling the region. Now the Mexican government has ordered the civilian militias to disband, and Pineda picks lemons in this orchard.
Alan Ortega KQED

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 5:20 am

In the western Mexican state of Michoacan, civilian militias have challenged a powerful drug cartel known as the Knights Templar. The vigilante uprising, which spurred the Mexican government to send soldiers and police to help counter the cartel, was fueled by migrants who returned to Mexico after years living north of the border.

Reny Pineda, who was raised in Los Angeles, is one of those migrants. When he returned to his homeland in Mexico, he found a new life fighting drug lords.

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Drugs
12:25 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 9:48 am

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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Biotech News
3:11 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Merck Buys Idenix And Their Drug For Hepatitis C

Marcie Sillman talks to biotech journalist Luke Timmerman about the pharmaceutical company Merck buying the biotech company Idenix for  over $3 billion and what that means for the future of a hepatitis C treatment. Also, they discuss the latest from the American Society Of Clinical Oncology meeting.

Health News
1:08 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 11:50 am

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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Environment
3:00 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Traces Of Drugs In Water: What's The Impact?

Penn State graduate student Alison Franklin holds up one of five prescriptions in her medicine closet. (Katie Colaneri/WHYY)

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:28 am

Scientists have known for a long time that the water coming out of your faucet at home might contain traces of drugs prescribed to people you've never met.

Research shows no one is getting a full dose of say, Prozac, from drinking tap water. But scientists do wonder whether pharmaceuticals in water supplies may be having more subtle, long-term impacts on human health and aquatic life.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Katie Colaneri of WHYY reports.

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Addiction
7:01 am
Fri May 2, 2014

As Heroin Booms, Recovery Clinics Struggle To Keep Up

Jamie Heidenreich rides back to Hoquiam after getting methadone treatment in Olympia, Wash. It's an hour each way.
Credit KUOW Photo/Elizabeth Jenkins

Heroin, the drug of the 90s, is back and thriving in Washington state.

“A hot batch of heroin hits the streets, and we will know it in a couple of hours because of the overdoses,” Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers said. In Washington, opiate-related deaths have doubled in the past decade.

But efforts to provide recovery services have struggled to keep up with the drugs. And for many, particularly in rural areas where distances stretch for hours, it can be tough to reach clinics.

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Author Interview
4:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Regulating Caffeine: How Much Is Too Much?

Credit Murray Carpenter's book, "Caffeinated."

Ross Reynolds speaks with journalist Murray Carpenter about his book, “Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us."

The book takes a closer look at the common drug we take for granted on a daily basis.

Heroin
12:31 am
Wed April 30, 2014

An Afghan Village Of Drug Addicts, From Ages 10 To 60

Ahmad, who wouldn't give his last name, smokes heroin. He lives in a makeshift village filled with drug addicts called Kamar Kulagh, on the outskirts of the western Afghan city of Herat.
David P. Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:50 am

Herat is one of the most graceful cities in Afghanistan. Its traditions go back to the Persian empire, with its exquisite blue and green glass, and its thriving poetry scene.

Now Herat is struggling with a darker side: drug addiction at a higher rate than almost anywhere else in the country.

In a dusty ravine on the outskirts of the city, Ahmad, a scruffy 20-year-old, is striking a match to inhale heroin.

It's a simple act he repeats throughout his day — heating a dark slab of heroin paste smeared on a bit of foil so he can smoke it.

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Health
12:29 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Powerful Narcotic Painkiller Up For FDA Approval

Morphine and oxycodone (the active ingredient in Oxycontin) are strong narcotic pain relievers on their own. Moxduo, a drug now up for FDA approval, would combine morphine and oxycodone in a single capsule.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 9:34 am

The Food and Drug Administration is trying to decide whether to approve a powerful new prescription painkiller that's designed to relieve severe pain quickly, and with fewer side effects than other opioids.

While some pain experts say the medicine could provide a valuable alternative for some patients in intense pain, the drug (called Moxduo) is also prompting concern that it could exacerbate the epidemic of abuse of prescription painkillers and overdoses.

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Neuroscience
10:40 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Study Links Casual Pot Use With Brain Abnormalities

(prensa420/Flickr)

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 12:30 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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Overcoming Addiction
7:34 am
Mon March 24, 2014

With Sobering Science, Doctor Debunks 12-Step Recovery

Courtesy of Beacon Press

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 11:27 am

Since its founding in the 1930s, Alcoholics Anonymous has become part of the fabric of American society. AA and the many 12-step groups it inspired have become the country's go-to solution for addiction in all of its forms. These recovery programs are mandated by drug courts, prescribed by doctors and widely praised by reformed addicts.

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Affordable Care Act
3:17 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Addiction Recovery Programs In Danger Of Losing Funding

Flickr Photo/Kaushik Narasimhan (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with Linda Grant, CEO of Evergreen Manor, about potential funding cuts to drug treatment programs for low-income patients in Washington state. Evergreen Manor is a non-profit drug and alcohol treatment center in Everett.

Pharmaceutical Marketing
12:52 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Drugmakers Slash Spending On Doctors' Sales Talks

Now that Eli Lilly & Co.'s antidepressant Cymbalta and some other blockbusters have gone generic, the company is spending less on promotional activities by doctors.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 11:14 am

Some of the nation's largest pharmaceutical companies have dramatically reduced payments to health professionals for promotional speeches amid heightened public scrutiny of such spending, a ProPublica analysis shows.

Eli Lilly & Co.'s payments to speakers dropped by 55 percent, from $47.9 million in 2011 to $21.6 million in 2012.

Pfizer's speaking payments fell 62 percent over the same period, from nearly $22 million to $8.3 million.

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Health News
2:47 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Shilo Murphy: Drug Users Are The Best People To Run Needle Exchanges

Shilo Murphy is the executive director of the People's Harm Reduction Alliance.
Courtesy of Shilo Murphy

Ross Reynolds talks with Shilo Murphy, executive director of the People's Harm Reduction Alliance, about its user-run needle exchange programs and the stigma around drug users.

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