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drugs

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.

How Needle Exchange Programs Work

Feb 26, 2014
Flickr Photo/deepfruit (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with Michael Hanrahan who oversees the needle exchange programs for the King County's Health and Human Services. Hanrahan talks about how these exchanges work and the impact the program has made in the community.

Flickr Photo/Erin DeMay (CC BY-NC-ND)

From Seattle’s South Lake Union to larger areas like Bothell, biotechnology is a ubiquitous part of the local economy. But moving a drug from research to testing, to market, to patients is an arduous undertaking.

Washington's Take On Overdose Antidote Naloxone

Feb 18, 2014
Flickr Photo/M (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with KUOW's Patricia Murphy about a pharmacy on Capitol Hill that is offering training around an opiate overdose medication called Naloxone.

Seattle police patrol cars.
Flickr Photo/Brittney Bollay

Marcie Sillman talks with Bill Hobson, executive director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, about the Seattle Police Department's new policy for dealing with people who have mental illnesses or drug and alcohol issues. Hobson is also a member of Seattle's Community Police Commission.

Flickr Photo/Greg McMullin (CC-BY-NC-ND)

This week the state Department of Health reported that prescription drug overdose deaths are down 27 percent since 2008. But curbing fraud and abuse of powerful opiates has come at a price for some legitimate patients who say they’re suffering unnecessary pain due to delays at pharmacies. 

Neuroscientist: 'Decriminalize All Drugs'

Jan 22, 2014
Dr. Carl Hart's book "High Price."

David Hyde speaks with Dr. Carl Hart, a professor at Columbia University, about why he thinks all drugs — including cocaine and heroin — should be decriminalized. His latest book is called "High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society."

Schools that do random drug testing say it helps students say no to illegal drugs, while critics say it's an invasion of privacy. But feeling good about school may affect students' drug use more than the threat of testing.

A survey of high school students found that the possibility that they might face drug testing didn't really discourage students from alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana. But students who thought their school had a positive environment were less apt to try cigarettes and pot.

Flickr Photo/Crashworks

Marcie Sillman talks with Caleb Banta-Green, an addiction and drug expert from the University of Washington,  about heroin trends across Washington state.

Big Pharma's Marketing Strategies

Dec 18, 2013
Sugar pills in a case
Flickr Photo/pig pog s

David Hyde talks with Natalie Mizik, University of Washington marketing professor, about how successful big pharmaceuticals are at marketing their products.

If there is such a thing, the typical pot smoker in Washington is a white male, 35 or younger with some college education. And he smokes a lot more weed than anyone thought.

Flickr Photo/Linda

Marcie Sillman talks with Bruce Bagley, professor of international studies at University of Miami, about the legalization of pot in Uruguay what this means for the US war on drugs abroad.

KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Theresa Young, a cancer survivor, could watch the birds outside her Renton apartment for hours. It brings her peace, she says.

The birds line up, one at a time, for their turn to duck into a hole to feed from an amazingly squirrel-proof trough. 

Flickr Photo/bwats2

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been making headlines after admitting to using crack cocaine, stating that it happened "probably in one of my drunken stupors."

Flickr Photo/West Annex News (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer about the week’s news out of Toronto, where police say they’ve recovered a video that shows the city’s mayor, Rob Ford, smoking crack cocaine.

For drug smugglers, getting a truckload of illegal narcotics past border authorities means potentially huge profits.

San Diego Is Biggest Entry Point For Mexican Meth

Oct 9, 2013

More than 70 percent of methamphetamine illegally trafficked into the U.S. passes through U.S.-Mexico border crossings in the San Diego area. That’s despite laws in both countries designed to crack down on the drug.

Customs and Border Protection agents at the San Ysidro Port of Entry face a tough balancing act. Facilitating international trade and travel on the one hand. On the other, trying to stop drugs and other illegal cargo from getting into the U.S.

Drug cartels are doing big business up and down the West Coast. When you go by freeway, you’re driving a Silk Road of sorts for heroin, meth and cocaine.

This export industry is evolving. Drug experts say heroin is back on the rise, fueled in part by prescription drug abuse. And while the supply side of the business may change, the demand remains strong.

"I was in love with it from the very beginning"

Mexican drug cartels operate an illicit export business that depends on freeways that run from California and Arizona to Canada. 

The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says he's done waiting for answers about how the Justice Department will handle marijuana offenses in states that have legalized small amounts of the drug.

Piper Kerman was a 24-year-old Smith College graduate in 1993, when she flew to Belgium with a suitcase of money intended for a West African drug lord.

This misguided adventure started when she began a romantic relationship with a woman who was part of what Kerman describes as a "clique of impossibly stylish and cool lesbians in their mid-30s." That woman was involved in a drug-smuggling ring, and got Kerman involved, too, though Kerman left that life after several months.

AP Photo/Charles Cherney

Former Seattle Mariner Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs. 
Rodriguez, also known as A-Rod, is suspended for the rest of this season and the next. He can play while he appeals.

Molly: The New Party Drug

Jul 1, 2013

  This weekend, during the Paradiso Festival at the Gorge Ampitheatre in George, Wash., one person died from an overdose of the drug Molly and many others were sick. Molly is commonly known as a party drug. It is often seen at raves, clubs and concerts. But what is it exactly? Ross Reynolds hears from Meghan Ralston, the harm reduction manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, an organization promoting alternatives to the war on drugs.

Students Abuse "Study Drugs" Despite Dangerous Health Risks

May 8, 2013
Flickr Photo/Alex Dodd

Nearly 35 percent of students are abusing stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin or Vyvanse. That's according to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The stimulants are often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but they're also being used by students attempting to focus.

Ross Reynolds interviews Dr. Cora Breuner, an adolescent medicine specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

David Sheff Comes Clean On Addiction

Apr 11, 2013
Flickr Photo/Alan Cleaver

Journalist and author David Sheff struggled to save his son Nic from addiction and he recounted his experience in the memoir "Beautiful Boy." In his new book "Clean," Sheff argues addiction is not a failure of character but a disease that can be prevented and cured. Ross Reynolds sits down with David Sheff for a discussion on drug abuse, parenting and the struggle to shift the way the world sees addiction.

US Attorney General Eric Holder is pondering what to do about Washington and Colorado’s legalization of marijuana, a substance still illegal under US law. But it’s also become an international issue. Last Thursday, the United Nations issued a press release stating Washington state’s legalization actually violates international law. This statement comes amidst criticism from Latin American leaders calling America’s inconsistency between foreign and domestic drug policies hypocritical. The Obama administration has said a legalization strategy — at least abroad — is off the table. Ross Reynolds talks with Bruce Bagley, a professor of international studies at the University of Miami and expert on US-Latin America relations.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Recent shooting tragedies around the country have raised questions about our mental health system. One of those questions is: Where do you go when someone in your family has mental illness? This is a story of one Seattle family’s journey for help and the lessons learned along the way.

From The Front Lines Of Mexico's Drug War

Jan 17, 2013
El Narco
Courtesy Bloomsbury Press

Since 2006, more than 40,000 soldiers, police officers, traffickers and citizens have died in Mexico’s bloody drug war — from the mountains where pot and poppies are grown to the streets of Mexico City. Journalist Ioan Grillo tracks the rise of the cartels and their increasing influence north of the border in his book, "El Narco." He joins Steve Scher with a report from the front lines of the Mexican drug war.

People's Harm Reduction Alliance

A public memorial service is planned Thursday for Bob Quinn. Quinn was a public health maverick. He died last month.

Leafly.com
courtesy/Leafly.com

Marijuana has been historically cast as a dangerous drug for outcasts and societal dropouts. But with the passage of I-502, marijuana is going mainstream. A Seattle web entrepreneur is building tools for the masses to bring marijuana – and its users – into the 21st century.

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