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Growing Opioid Crisis Tests Limits Of Methadone Clinics; Advocates Favor Expansion

20 hours ago
Jose DeJesus, treasurer of the Hill neighborhood's community management team, said that the APT Foundation clinic has created a magnet for outsiders to come for treatment and hang out in the neighborhood.
Steve Hamm / C-HIT.org

Jose DeJesus pulls his silver minivan out of a parking lot in back of a row of historic houses on New Haven’s Congress Avenue. He points with pride to the flowers he planted around the lot. Then he grimly spins a commentary as he gives a tour of the surrounding Hill neighborhood.

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

A judge has cleared the way for OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to stay in business while it pursues bankruptcy protection and settlement of more than 2,600 lawsuits filed over the opioid crisis. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut must now take its chances in bankruptcy court as it continues to pursue its lawsuit against drug maker Purdue Pharma. The Stamford-based maker of Oxycontin officially announced its long-rumored bankruptcy filing Sunday night, confirming a settlement deal with about half of the states that had taken legal action over the effects of the opioid overdose epidemic.  Connecticut was not among the states participating in that settlement.

John9474 / Wikimedia Commons

In 2018, around one thousand Connecticut residents died from opioid overdoses, according to the state’s Chief Medical Examiner.  Connecticut has joined nearly every state including thousands of municipalities in suing Stamford-based opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma.

This hour, we get the latest after Purdue filed for bankruptcy Sunday. Twenty states tentatively reached a multi-billion dollar settlement with Purdue Pharma. But we find out why Connecticut Attorney General William Tong says this settlement doesn’t go far enough.

Later, we hear from a Connecticut teen who’s helping organize a “Connecticut Climate Strike” this Friday in Hartford.

And we get the latest on the Bridgeport mayoral race.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The state is weighing its options on how to hold a Stamford-based pharmaceutical company accountable for its role in the nation’s opioid crisis. But if money ever does come to Connecticut from a potential settlement with Purdue Pharma, addiction recovery advocates have plenty of ideas on how it could be spent.

Courtesy: Purdue Pharma

Connecticut’s attorney general says the state has not agreed to any settlement with Stamford-based drug maker Purdue Pharma. The Associated Press is reporting Wednesday that Purdue, the maker of controversial painkiller Oxycontin, has settled with about half of the states that are currently suing it over its role in the opioid overdose crisis. 

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

The family that owns Purdue Pharma, maker of Oxycontin, has agreed to give up "the entire value" of the privately owned firm to settle claims that Purdue played a central role in the nation's deadly opioid epidemic.

That's according to a spokesperson for the firm, who detailed the Sackler family's offer in an email sent to NPR on Monday.

"Additionally, the Sacklers have offered $3 billion in cash as part of the global resolution," wrote Josephine Martin, Purdue Pharma's head of corporate affairs and communications.

Reports: Sacklers, Purdue Offer Massive Settlement Of Opioid Suits

Aug 28, 2019
Courtesy: Purdue Pharma

The maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, and its owners, the Sackler family, are offering to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits against the company for $10 billion to $12 billion, according to several reports. 

New Report Shows Recreational Marijuana Revenue Volatile In Many States

Aug 19, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

While Connecticut opted not to legalize and tax recreational marijuana sales this year, many lawmakers saw the pot market as a cash cow that could rake in tens of millions of dollars annually for the state’s coffers.

But a new analysis by Pew Charitable Trusts found that states with legalized pot sales are struggling to predict how much they can haul in on an annual basis. 

Charles Krupa / Associated Press

A judge is weighing a motion to dismiss Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, the Stamford-based maker of the powerful prescription opioid drug OxyContin.

At a lengthy hearing Friday in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston, both sides argued over whether the trial should go forward.

Steve Hamm / C-HIT

Joseph Deane had been drug free for months before he overdosed in the bathroom of a restaurant in New Haven last December. He couldn’t resist when his dealer offered drugs. Unfortunately, the dope turned out to be fentanyl. 

The Van Vs. An Opioid Addiction: Taking Treatment To The Streets

Jun 26, 2019
Jesse Costa / WBUR

On the streets of Boston, the potholed path to treatment often starts with a sandwich. Egg salad is the favorite. Today it's ham. Phil Ribeiro tucks one into the bag of a man who is breathing, but either so sedated or deeply asleep that he's difficult to rouse. 

FRANKIE GRAZIANO / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC RADIO

Newly released emails and documents from an unsealed multi-state lawsuit against major generic drug manufacturers show correspondence between company leaders on drug price increases, Congressional investigations and more.

Paramedic Peter Canning walks through Hartford’s Pope Park. He picks up empty heroin baggies as he passes by athletic fields, a public pool and a picnic pavilion where a few people appear to nod off.

A health official in Springfield, Massachusetts, said she was surprised by a jump in the number of opioid overdose deaths in the city, and she doesn't know why it happened.

Genome Research Limited / Creative Commons

Gilead, the biopharmaceutical company responsible for manufacturing Truvada, has come under scrutiny for its HIV drug pricing. This hour, we get the latest on this story. We also preview an upcoming Hartford rally, scheduled to coincide with AIDS Awareness Day. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut is leading a major effort to hold generic drug manufacturers responsible for the rising cost of pharmaceuticals.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Emails sent by the former chairman of Purdue Pharma are being seen by the public as a result of a complaint filed by the state of Connecticut.

A major pharmaceutical distribution company and two of its former executives are facing criminal charges for their roles in advancing the nation's opioid crisis and profiting from it.

Matt Benoit / iStock/Thinkstock

The state's desperation for new revenue is certainly fueling this year's push to legalize marijuana.

But for many Democrats in the legislature, a larger goal is addressing racial injustices created by a crackdown on illegal drugs that has inordinately targeted non-whites.

Michael Fischer / Creative Commons

Connecticut lawmakers voted to advance three bills that would legalize the retail sale and possession of recreational marijuana Monday.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Many Connecticut lawmakers have said that if the state legalizes cannabis, it would be only right to expunge the records of state residents who have cannabis-related convictions. But that may be easier said than done.

Mark/flickr creative commons

With recreational marijuana on sale in Massachusetts, Connecticut lawmakers are looking at legalizing recreational cannabis more seriously than ever.

Randy Heinitz / Flickr

It is estimated that 12 million Americans live inside one of our nations roughly 45,000 mobile home communities. Despite these numbers, few people outside these parks truly know what life is like for their residents.

Men are dying after opioid overdoses at nearly three times the rate of women in the United States. Overdose deaths are increasing faster among black and Latino Americans than among whites. And there's an especially steep rise in the number of young adults ages 25 to 34 whose death certificates include some version of the drug fentanyl.

diego_cervo/iStock / Thinkstock

In southeastern Connecticut, a team of Recovery Navigators is offering a hand -- and a sense of hope -- to residents with opioid drug addiction. This hour, we take an in-depth look at the work this team is doing.

We also hear why some municipal leaders -- including the mayor of New London, Connecticut -- are championing legislation that would grant municipalities the right to sue big pharma over the ongoing opioid crisis.

And finally, when it comes to Medicaid insurance, why are certified nurse midwives in Connecticut reimbursed at a lower rate than OB/GYN physicians? We take a closer look with Connecticut Public Radio health care reporter Nicole Leonard, and we also hear from you. 

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

While the total number of people who died from any overdose in 2018 is slightly down from the year before, fentanyl showed up in more than 75 percent of deaths—making it more common than heroin.

Kris Notaro / Creative Commons

An estimated 20 percent of Americans reside in rural communities. What are the needs of this population? And to what extent are those needs being met? This hour, we take a closer look.

We also sit down with Anne Torsiglieri, whose one-woman show "A" Train comes to Hartford this week. 

The 2019 tax season is here. Have you filed your forms? If so, good on you for not procrastinating. If not, you might want to reconsider waiting until the last minute... because the U.S. tax code has changed.

This hour, we take an in-depth look at the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and find out what it means for those filing taxes this year.

Later, Connecticut Public Radio’s Patrick Skahill takes us inside a UConn lecture hall, where students are learning the science of cultivating... get this... cannabis. 

Weedmaps had this message put up on I-91 in New Haven on January 23. It's a reminder to Connecticut residents that marijuana is available for purchase in Massachusetts.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A New Haven-based addiction treatment organization is going after the messaging on an interstate billboard with another billboard.

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