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Connecticut will benefit from almost $6 million in federal funding for organizations combating the opioid addiction crisis. The Department of Health and Human Services is awarding a total of $400 million in grants to states around the nation.

Domenic Esposito

One morning last June, a giant sculpture of a heroin spoon was dropped on the campus of Purdue Pharma in Stamford. It was a piece of protest art meant to hold the pharmaceutical company responsible for its role in the opioid epidemic.

Marco Verch / Creative Commons

This hour: pain, pharma, and the birth of a nation plagued by opioid abuse and overdose.

We talk to Beth Macy, author of Dopesick, about her investigation into the development, marketing, and widespread effect of OxyContin -- a prescription drug produced by Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma.

To what extent is the company responsible for America’s ongoing opioid addiction crisis? We take an in-depth look and we also hear from you. 

J Stimp / Creative Commons

Nearly ninety-percent of Americans own a smartphone.

On average, we spend more than four hours a day on our phones, which adds up to about 56 full days a year. That's like sealing yourself in a room on the first day of summer and not emerging until the kids head back to school. 

Paul Bass, New Haven Independent

Firefighters, police, and medics were among an army of first responders on the New Haven Green last week after reports of people losing consciousness, vomiting, and falling to the ground started streaming in. Crews transported victims to the hospital over 100 times as state and local officials scrambled to figure out what was going on.

Kevin Doncaster / flickr

The history of sugar is a complicated one. Once available to only the rich and powerful, sugar now shows up in everything from cereals and soups, to cigarettes and body scrubs. It is known to both have medicinal qualities and to contribute to a variety of health problems.

Diane Orson / Connecticut Public Radio

New Haven, Connecticut was the site of more than 100 overdoses last week -- drawing national attention to the city and to a synthetic drug known as K2.

But what exactly is this drug? And how did it wind up in the hands of so many here in Connecticut? This hour, an addiction psychiatrist from Silver Hill Hospital joins us to answer our questions.

Credit Jeng_Niamwhan/iStock / Thinkstock

The Addiction Resource Center (ARC) is an interactive website that provides information about substance use disorders as well as local addiction treatment centers and health care providers. 

Jesus Garzon

The Connecticut State Bond Commission approved funding for several community health centers in the state last week, including money to expand opioid addiction treatment at one facility in New Haven. 

J Stimp / Creative Commons

Nearly ninety-percent of Americans own a smartphone.

On average, we spend more than four hours a day on our phones, which adds up to about 56 full days a year. That's like sealing yourself in a room on the first day of summer and not emerging until the kids head back to school. 

EP_JHU / CREATIVE COMMONS

Connecticut is one of the first states to join a new effort to combat the opioid crisis. MedicineSafe aims to coordinate the efforts of many different agencies in keeping addictive painkillers out of the wrong hands.

SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES

As opioid overdose deaths rapidly increase, the U.S. Surgeon General is urging more people to carry naloxone, the overdose-reversal drug. The recommendation is strongly supported by The Connecticut State Medical Society.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

When it comes to the nation’s opioid crisis, substance abuse affects more than the addict. More and more children are entering the foster care system every year at an unprecedented rate.

A pipe was the only sign of drug use near Chris Bennett’s body, in November. But it looked like the 32-year-old Taunton native had stopped breathing and died of an opioid overdose. Bennett’s mother Liisa couldn’t understand what happened. Then she saw the toxicology report.

“I’m convinced he was smoking cocaine that was laced,” she says. “That’s what he had in his system was cocaine and fentanyl.”

Source: United States Census Bureau, Connecticut Department of Public Health Credit: Patrick Skahill

Figures on overdose deaths grab headlines, but treatment data could save lives. In response, health officials have released new information on emergency room visits for drug overdoses, numbers that paint a fuller picture of the state's opioid crisis.

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