drugs

Health Care
5:30 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Caring For Newborns In Withdrawal, Researchers Ask What's Best

These automatic rockers in the nursery at Women & Infants move side to side, like a mother's own gentle rocking.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

More Rhode Island babies are being born dependent on the opioid drugs (including OxyContin and heroin) their pregnant mothers were taking. Many of these babies need hospital stays and powerful medication to help them through the painful withdrawal. Now, researchers at Women & Infants Hospital are trying to pin down what treatments work best, and what the long-term impacts are. Part one of our two-part series on newborns in withdrawal.

A rough entry into the world

(Sound: subtle whirring of the nursery)

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Local Features
1:38 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

RI Students Arrested for Drug-Laced Candy

Police say they have made several arrests after a Richmond teenager required medical attention from consuming marijuana-laced candy. One 14-year-old was charged with drug crimes in connection with the incident while another was caught with drug-laced candy and prescription pills. A Chariho High School student was arrested for drug crimes on Monday.

Richmond Police Chief Elwood Johnson said the candy could have contained more than just THC.

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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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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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The Pulse
12:35 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Reading The Labels On Drugs And Food

Example of the FDA's proposed new food label
Credit US Food and Drug Administration

Do you read the labels on food before you buy it? How about on pill bottles, supplements, and other drugs? If some Rhode Island lawmakers have their way, you could be seeing "country of origin" labels on your pharmaceuticals. But would that change your mind about taking a drug, or make you ask your doctor for a different brand?

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Health Care
2:09 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Overdose Deaths Reach 45; Fentanyl Plus Heroin Still Suspected

Rhode Island's health department director says 45 Rhode Islanders have died from overdoses so far this year. Concerns are growing that a dangerous combination of heroin and Fentanyl is continuing to kill unsuspecting users. The state medical examiner is still investigating, but Fentanyl is suspected in many of these deaths. It's a powerful painkiller, up to 80 times more powerful than heroin. In combination it can kill even habitual users quickly. There's an antidote for overdoses from opioids like heroin and other painkillers. It's called Narcan.

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Health Care
1:16 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Drug Overdose Deaths Spike Again; State Police To Carry Antidote

Naloxone, or Narcan, nasal spray, in a kit carried by Quincy, MA police.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State health authorities say 38 Rhode Islanders have died from suspected illicit IV drug overdoses so far this year, possibly from drugs that may have been laced with a powerful substance called fentanyl. That's despite public warnings the drugs might be tainted.

Drug dealers may be adding synthetic fentanyl to heroin to boost potency or stretch the supply to make more money. But what their customers may not know is that this particular compound is many times more potent than heroin and can kill even habitual IV drug users the first time they take it.

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The Pulse
12:49 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Hearing Heroin Everywhere

Has heroin abuse reached epidemic proportions? What about painkiller abuse? Or are we just hearing more about it?

The academic jury is still out on this, as far as I can tell. Of course, it doesn't really matter what you call it if you've lost a loved one to heroin overdose.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Miriam Hospital Trials C.Diff Vaccine

C. Difficile is a highly contagious infection people can catch in hospitals or after taking antibiotics. It sickens many and kills about 14,000 people every year. But there’s hope for preventing these infections as a new vaccine moves into the clinical trial phase. The Miriam Hospital is participating in the trial.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Brown Researcher Invents Diabetes Drug Delivery Method

Brown University researchers have invented a new way of delivering diabetes medicine.
Credit RIPR FILE

A Brown University engineering professor has been recognized for her work inventing better ways to deliver drugs into the human body, including an innovation that may help diabetics.

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