opioid crisis

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan announces lawsuit against Purdue Pharma
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont’s Attorney General is suing Purdue Pharma, saying the manufacturer of Oxycontin has driven the opioid addiction crisis. T.J. Donovan says the billion dollar industry must account for misleading marketing.

syringe
ZaldyImg/Flickr

For over a year, officials in Vermont’s most populous county and the state have been considering the possibility of creating safe injection sites as a means to curb the growing opioid crisis.  This week, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote that such plans are not solutions and the Department of Justice is ready to act against communities that create such facilities.  The move is not deterring efforts in Burlington.

syringe
ZaldyImg/Flickr

The Burlington City Council approved a nonbinding resolution this week calling for further study into establishing safe injection sites in the city.

What can Congress do about the opioid crisis?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Joe Courtney, a Democrat from the 2nd district, continues his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Composite photo Dave Lucas/WAMC & Be.Futureproof/Flickr

The Siena College Research Institute has released the final installment of a four-part poll that takes a comprehensive look at the scope of the opioid crisis in New York. 

A few months ago, Kourtnaye Sturgeon helped save someone's life. She was driving in downtown Indianapolis when she saw people gathered around a car on the side of the road. Sturgeon pulled over and a man told her there was nothing she could do: Two men had overdosed on opioids and appeared to be dead.

"I kind of recall saying, 'No man, I've got Narcan,' " she says, referring to the brand- name version of the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone. "Which sounds so silly, but I'm pretty sure that's what came out."

Oxycodone pills
Be.Futureproof/Flickr

In what’s being called a first-of-its-kind four-part poll, the Siena College Research Institute takes a comprehensive look at the scope of the opioid crisis in New York State.

WikiMedia Commons

Several former U.S. governors will be gathering at the Harvard University School of Public Health to discuss the nation's ongoing opioid addiction crisis.

   The highest court in Massachusetts will hear arguments later this year on whether thousands more drug convictions should be thrown out because of scandal at an evidence testing lab in Amherst.

       There was finally some good news this week on the opioid front in Massachusetts. The number of drug overdose deaths fell by 8.3 percent in 2017 compared with the year before.

Vermont Blueprint for Health Hub and Spoke diagram
Vermont Department of Health

Vermont Governor Phil Scott and the state’s Secretary of Human Services were in Washington Tuesday to testify before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health.  Their focus was on the state’s “Hub and Spoke” treatment model that is getting more people into treatment for addiction.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

New York Congressman Paul Tonko is hoping to build on a brief conversation with the president this week as part of the ongoing battle against opioids.

President Trump addressing a joint session of Congress in February 2017.
wikipedia.org

President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address Tuesday night. Some Hudson Valley members of Congress plan to make a statement with their guests. Others have invited family members.

Senator Bernie Sanders holds student meeting on opioids and addiction at Burlington High School
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders held a student town meeting at Burlington High School late last week to discuss the addiction and opioid crisis.

WAMC

     This is National Health Center Week.

mailer bag
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Some 78 people die each day across the country from prescription opioid-related overdoses and statistics show 4 out of 5 of heroin users started with prescription opioids.  Albany County now has a task force in place to battle the crisis.

Picture of Heroin
Adobe Stock

A New Hampshire training program that teaches police officers and prosecutors how to treat drug overdoses as crime scenes is emerging as a model for other states grappling with the opioid crisis.

Kaushik Narasimhan/Flickr

When Albany County Executive Dan McCoy delivered his sixth State of the County Address last week, he announced the next phase in his fight against the opioid crisis.

From left:  VT Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen, Mayor Miro Weinberger, State's Attorney Sarah George, Dr. Stephen Leffler, Chief Brandon del Pozo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Burlington, Vermont Mayor Miro Weinberger announced a series of initiatives Thursday aimed at addressing the opioid crisis in the city.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

A state senator from the Hudson Valley says more action is needed to help reverse the trend of climbing death tolls from opioids. He applauds Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recently released plan to combat New York’s heroin and opioid epidemic but says more is needed.

WAMC

   As Massachusetts combats the opioid addiction crisis, peer-to-peer recovery programs are growing and seeking state funding.

WAMC

A new initiative has been announced in western Massachusetts in an effort to reduce drug overdose deaths and the misuse of prescription medications.

WAMC

  Hospital emergency rooms are on the front lines in saving lives during the opioid crisis. Now some ERs in western Massachusetts will be getting an additional resource.

      The death rate from the opioid crisis in Massachusetts continues to rise with a powerful synthetic painkiller playing an increasingly larger role.

Congressman Paul Tonko
Congressman Paul Tonko

  The opioid crisis has worried officials across the Northeast.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Paul Tonko — a Democrat from the 20th district — tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about a recent forum he hosted in Albany.