• Cuomo: NY must act to combat heroin

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is vowing to enact the nation's "best" plan to fight heroin and opioid abuse. The Democrat said Wednesday that he will push to pass a comprehensive approach to addiction before lawmakers adjourn their 2016 session next month. He said the plan will focus on prevention, treatment and recovery and look for ways to reduce barriers for those seeking help. The comments came during a meeting of a state Heroin Task Force on Staten Island, which saw 84 drug-related deaths in 2014. The task force is expected to submit its final recommendations to Cuomo on June 1. The recently passed state budget includes $167 million to fight heroin and opioid abuse and addiction.

  • Police ID officers who fatally shot armed man along Boulder Creek

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    The Boulder Police Department on Wednesday identified the two officers who shot and killed an armed man along Boulder Creek as Ryan Austin and Ross Maynard. Austin is an eight-year veteran with the department, while Maynard is a six-year veteran, according to a news release. Both of the officers are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by a multi-jurisdictional team to see whether they were justified in using lethal force. Sunday's incident was Boulder's fourth officer-involved shooting in the past four years, and the third fatal officer-involved shooting.

  • Police accuse 2 Austin men of dealing in Chinese-made opiate fentanyl

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    Authorities have accused two men living in Austin of selling a laboratory-made heroin alternative, produced in China, that led to the deaths of at least two people in the city. The drug, fentanyl, is a synthetic opiate similar to heroin, but much more powerful. In total, it has killed at least five people in Austin since December. Fentanyl is being sold in both powder and liquid forms throughout Austin, police said. Austin police filed federal charges against Sylvester Orlowski, a 26-year-old man also known as “Sly,” and Albert “Bert” Picazo III, 28, on May 18 after police found two men in their 20s dead from suspected overdoses in a South Austin home the morning of May 5, according to court documents.

  • Bernie Sanders grows pro-pot during California primary swing

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    Bernie Sanders is turning to marijuana to bolster his credentials in California ahead of the crucial Democratic primary there. The Vermont senator told a rally in beach-front Santa Monica that he would vote yes on an initiative proposed for the November ballot in the state that would legalize the drug. In Riverside, he told more than a thousand people that the 40-year U.S. war on drugs has been unfairly targeted minorities. He told more than 5,000 people in San Bernardino on Tuesday that as a senator he has worked to remove marijuana from Washington’s list of the most dangerous drugs. On Wednesday in Cathedral City he carried on with the theme.

  • Analysis: Ahead of California primary, Clinton and Sanders have different messages, challenges

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES — As the primary season whirls to an end, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are two planets occupying orbits that only occasionally cross. Both presidential candidates have coursed across California in recent days, pleading with voters to give them the victory each needs in the June 7 Democratic primary. Both warned of challenges ahead that are fraught with danger. But they are different challenges, as their recent California events show. Clinton is aiming at presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and the threat she says he would pose to the nation. She has honed her pitch to emphasize what she says are his failings as a candidate and would-be president.

  • Allegations surface of drug abuse by University of Minnesota wrestlers

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    Allegations arose Tuesday of a police investigation into drug abuse by University of Minnesota wrestling team members, but U officials declined to comment on the specifics. Four athletes are under investigation for dealing the prescription drug, Xanax, and 10 others are suspected of using the anti-anxiety medication recreationally, according to a Fox 9 report. The actions of longtime wrestling coach, J Robinson, are also under the microscope for how he dealt with players who, according to Fox 9, admitted to using narcotics this spring. Robinson remains an active employee of the university, said spokesman Evan Lapiska. Robinson could not be reached Tuesday evening. Any information on student discipline would be private d

  • Opioid Crisis Rally

    Opioid Crisis Rally

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    Deborah Lehti, left, of Abington, Mass. gestures after releasing a black balloon in remembrance of her son, Kai, who died of a drug overdose, during a Rally to Face Addiction at the Statehouse, Wednesday, May 25, 2016, in Boston.

  • Could an implant be the new weapon against opioid, heroin addiction?

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide this week whether to approve a new weapon in the war against heroin and prescription opioid addiction. The Probuphine implant by Braeburn Pharmaceuticals of Princeton, N.J., would be the first FDA-approved implant for opioid dependence and the longest-acting treatment to address the growing problem. When inserted under the skin of the upper arm, four small, flexible Probuphine implants provide a continuous, six-month dose of buprenorphine, which helps curb the withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings that characterize opioid addiction. Opioids are a class of narcotic pain medications that include prescription drugs like methadone, oxycodone, Percoce

  • EDITORIAL: Nationally, conservatives see danger in opioid epidemic. In Missouri, 'liberty' reigns

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    The Missouri Legislature’s opioid obstinance must be confounding, even to conservative leaders at the national level. Under the guise of preventing government intrusion into citizens’ lives, conservatives in the Legislature refused this session to advance an important bill designed to help fight the nation’s increasingly deadly opioid-addiction epidemic. At the same time in Washington, conservatives — including Missouri Republicans —rallied behind a House of Representatives bill aimed precisely at the same addiction epidemic. Somehow, GOP leaders on Capitol Hill have wrapped their minds around the idea that an overwhelming public danger takes priority over contrived threats of government overreach. The opioid epidem

  • FDA Considering Pricey Implant As Treatment For Opioid Addiction

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    Amid a raging opioid epidemic, many doctors and families in the U.S. have been pleading for better treatment alternatives. One option now under consideration by the Food and Drug Administration is a system of implanted rods that offer controlled release of buprenorphine — a drug already used in other forms to treat opioid addiction. Because it’s implanted in the skin, this version of the drug can’t easily be sold on the illegal market, proponents say — a key treatment advantage. The FDA is expected to decide whether to approve the device — called Probuphine — within a week.

  • Man gets 18-25 years in home invasion beating of 92-year-old

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Springfield man has been sentenced to serve up to 25 years behind bars for beating a 92-year-old man during a home invasion. Patrick Donovan was sentenced on Tuesday in Springfield after pleading guilty to more than a dozen charges, including home invasion, armed burglary, and armed assault with intent to rob a person over 60. The sentence includes a decade of probation. Prosecutors say the victim was attacked in November 2014 in his kitchen and suffered a fractured jaw, a concussion and injuries to the larynx. Donovan also threatened the victim's 82-year-old wife. Defense lawyer Nicholas Horgan had asked for a 10-year sentence, saying Donovan had multiple drug addictions at the time.

  • EDITORIAL: Sad to say, Oklahoma provides plenty of experience with opioids

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    THE U.S. Surgeon General came to Oklahoma a few days ago to talk about opioid abuse. It's a topic, sadly, that is all too familiar in this state. Dr. Vivek Murthy heard from the parents of Austin Box, a University of Oklahoma football player who lost his life to an overdose of prescription painkillers in 2011. Since then, Gail and Craig Box have established a foundation in Austin's name to help them advocate for greater awareness about the problem. Murthy said he is sometimes asked why so much effort is spent on discussing opioid abuse. “It's because we have a preventable tragedy happening every 19 minutes in the country,” he said. “That's how often these overdoses from opioids are happening.

  • Summer preview: Hot new books will transport readers

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    Traveling with a new book is wonderful. But traveling through a book provides passage over time and space (and it’s easier on the budget and gas tank). This summer’s titles will take readers to 18th century Canada, 19th century Africa or 100 years in the future, when survivors of an apocalypse try to build a new civilization. In Annie Proulx’s first novel in 14 years, two Frenchmen come to North America and find an imposing forest in “Barkskins.” “It is the forest of the world,” they are told. “It is infinite. It twists around as a snake swallows its own tail and has no end and no beginning. No one has ever seen its farthest dimension.” Proulx’s epic, spanning 300 years and many generations, is one o

  • Pastor at Saddleback Church turned his life around while serving 25-to-life terms for double murder

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    LAKE FOREST, Calif. — Danny Duchene dropped to his knees as pastor Rick Warren led a prayer over him, the recently named pastor for Saddleback Church’s prison ministry. “The greatest feeling in life is being used by God for something larger than yourself,” Warren said after announcing Duchene’s new job. “God can use anybody because of his mercy. Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.” Duchene, 53, is a twice-convicted murderer. He was serving double 25-year-to-life sentences at Sierra Conservation Center in Northern California for killing two men when, with the help of a letter Warren penned to the parole board guaranteeing him a job at Saddleback, he was released Dec. 24, 2014.

  • At Rikers Island, a legacy of medication-assisted opioid treatment

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    NEW YORK — For Dr. Ross Macdonald, every person who enters New York City’s main jail with an opioid addiction represents an opportunity for treatment, and the possibility of saving a life. As the medical director of the city’s correctional health program, he ensures that offenders who come in on methadone continue to receive it. And he and his staff try to persuade as many addicted inmates as possible to get started on methadone before they leave the jail. Rikers Island Correctional Facility has run a model opioid treatment program since 1987, and it has assisted tens of thousands of inmates in maintaining treatment after they return to their communities.

  • Law enforcement and anti-drug coalitions must work together to end heroin abuse, experts say

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    ST. LOUIS • Ellis Fitzwalter could tell his son Michael had an addictive personality. Michael Fitzwalter went from smoking marijuana to abusing his Xanax prescription to developing an addiction to heroin. He died of a heroin overdose on Aug. 25, 2014. He had been clean for about a year before getting sucked back in, his father said. Now, Fitzwalter and his wife are active in raising awareness of heroin addiction. Leaders of local anti-drug coalitions met Tuesday for the Community of Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Summit. Fitzwalter sat in the front row at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, wearing a neon orange T-shirt with the words “Stop Heroin” printed across the front.

  • EDITORIAL: Nationally, conservatives see danger in opioid epidemic. In Missouri, 'liberty' reigns supreme.

    Updated: Tue, May 24, 2016

    The Missouri Legislature’s opioid obstinance must be confounding, even to conservative leaders at the national level. Under the guise of preventing government intrusion into citizens’ lives, conservatives in the Legislature refused this session to advance an important bill designed to help fight the nation’s increasingly deadly opioid-addiction epidemic. At the same time in Washington, conservatives — including Missouri Republicans —rallied behind a House of Representatives bill aimed precisely at the same addiction epidemic. Somehow, GOP leaders on Capitol Hill have wrapped their minds around the idea that an overwhelming public danger takes priority over contrived threats of government overreach. The opioid epidem

  • The Latest: Albuquerque police use smoke, pepper spray

    The Latest: Albuquerque police use smoke,...

    Updated: Tue, May 24, 2016

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on campaign stops in New Mexico by Bill Clinton and Donald Trump (all times local): 9:15 p.m. Albuquerque police say they used smoke grenades to disburse a crowd of angry protesters outside a Donald Trump rally after demonstrators threw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other debris at officers. Initial indications were that it was tear gas, but an officer said police used smoke and some pepper spray as the protesters became violent. The unruly crowd overran police barricades earlier in the night and overturned trash cans as Trump spoke to some 4,000 supporters inside the Albuquerque Convention Center. Some protesters were also escorted out of the event after interru

  • 'I'm so over drugs': Man fatally shot by Boulder police wrote of struggle 1 week ago

    Updated: Tue, May 24, 2016

    The man shot and killed by police along Boulder Creek on Sunday wrote on Facebook just a week earlier that he was struggling with a longtime drug addiction, but was looking to get clean. Bryson Fischer, 28, of Erie, was fatally shot after police responded to the area of Broadway and Canyon Boulevard following reports that a man was firing a gun into the creek under the Broadway bridge. When two officers arrived, police say Fischer raised the gun at them. Both officers shot Fischer. He was taken to Boulder Community Health, but died later that day, according to the Boulder County Coroner's Office.

  • Audit: Nevada health exchange may be overpaying for outreach

    Updated: Tue, May 24, 2016

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — A state audit released Tuesday raised questions about whether Nevada's health insurance exchange is using its money wisely, citing outreach organizations that are being paid tens of thousands of dollars but haven't provided proof that they were promoting the exchange for much of that time. The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange needs to better scrutinize its marketing arm and "navigator" organizations, which seek to promote health insurance to hard-to-reach, uninsured populations, state auditors told members of the Legislative Commission's Audit Subcommittee. Their audit also asked whether navigators are participating in the most relevant events, pointing to their attendance at a lingerie convention and belly




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