Substance Abuse

The Pulse
4:21 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Debrief: New Health Laws Address Addiction, Breast Cancer

Another legislative session has wrapped up. Health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Dave Fallon in the studio to talk about how health care fared on Smith Hill.

Here's a transcript of their discussion.

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Health Care
2:43 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Pilot Program Links Doctors With Addiction Experts

State officials have announced another tool to help physicians spot and treat drug abuse.

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Health Care
5:30 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Her Newborn In Withdrawal, A Young Mother Faces Her Own Recovery

Baby Jonathan, 10 days old.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

More Rhode Island babies are being born dependent on the opioid drugs their pregnant mothers were taking. Their condition, called neonatal abstinence syndrome, sometimes requires hospital stays and powerful medications. In the second of our two-part series, the story of a newborn going through withdrawal and a young mother trying to make a new life for him in recovery. (You can listen to part one of our series here.)

Visiting baby Jonathan
“Where’s everybody headed?”

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Health Care
11:33 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Rx Drug Monitoring, Insurance Coverage For Addiction Bills Clear Senate Hurdle

Bills aimed at curbing drug addiction and overdose passed in Senate committee.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

A state senate committee has recommended passage of two bills aimed at curbing prescription drug and heroin abuse.

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The Pulse
1:44 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Keeping The Spotlight On Overdose, Addiction

Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog post titled "Hearing Heroin Everywhere." If I were to rewrite that title today, it'd be "Hearing Narcan Everywhere." It seems the conversation has changed a bit from "Houston, we have a problem," to "Houston, how do we stop this thing?" But I'm confident most health care providers and people affected by addiction and overdose would agree that the fact that we're still having the conversation - publicly, in the media, in public forums, at city halls - is a good thing.

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Health Care
5:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Women & Infants Sees Surge In Opioid-Addicted Newborns

These newborns are both being treated for withdrawal from opioids in a nursery at Women & Infants. They've been swaddled tightly to help them feel safe and calm, and these "swings" rock them gently from side to side.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The rising number of Rhode Islanders struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin has brought an increase in babies born addicted to these substances. And Women & Infants Hospital is treating a growing number of them.

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The Pulse
10:53 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Miss Our Policy & Pinot On Overdose? Listen Here.

The Providence Center's Jim Gillen, Warwick police dept. Captain Joe Coffey, and Rhode Island Public Radio health care reporter Kristin Gourlay talk overdose and addiction at Tuesday night's Policy & Pinot, our ongoing discussion series at the Providence Athenaeum.
Credit Garry Bliss / The Providence Center

We had a full house at the Providence Athenaeum last week. If you weren't able to join us, not to worry. You can listen to the full program right here.

Rhode Island Public Radio, in concert with the lovely Providence Athenaeum, hosted a stellar group of panelists for this one hour radio show taped in front of a live audience. Guests included a recovering addict and overdose survivor, an addiction medicine and infectious disease specialist, a drug abuse epidemiologist, a Warwick police captain trained in mental health first aid, and an addiction treatment specialist.

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Health Care
9:58 am
Fri March 14, 2014

New Rules Let Doctors Give Narcan To Friends, Family

A kit containing two doses of naloxone, via nasal spray.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s health department has issued new emergency regulations designed to make it easier to access a drug called naloxone, used to reverse drug overdoses. The new rules come in response to a spike in deaths from heroin and prescription painkiller overdoses.

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Health Care
11:23 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Miss Policy & Pinot At The Athenaeum? Listen Sunday!

If you weren't able to join us last night at the Providence Athenaeum for Policy & Pinot - "Killer Drugs: Tackling Opioid Addiction and Overdose in Rhode Island" - not to worry. We recorded the program and will broadcast it Sunday, March 16 at 6 pm here on Rhode Island Public Radio. But we're sorry we missed you!

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More about last night's Policy & Pinot at the Providence Athenaeum

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The Pulse
2:38 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

RI Lawmakers Mull New Drug Abuse, Overdose Bills

The Senate Health and Human Services committee will be considering a suite of proposed bills that aim to tackle the state's prescription painkiller and heroin addiction and overdose crisis.

The committee's chair, Senator Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), plans to introduce several of those bills, including:

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