The surge in the use of heroin and prescription opioids is resulting in more deaths than violent crimes and car crashes in many communities, law enforcement officials said this week. They met in Washington, D.C. to discuss the problem and possible solutions.
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The private equity firm Bain Capital recently took over the largest chain of substance treatment facilities in Massachusetts, The Boston Globe reports. Bain, which usually makes investments in brand-name companies such as Dunkin’ Donuts, sees treating addiction as big business.
Massachusetts cannot ban the new pure hydrocodone drug Zohydro ER (extended release), a federal judge said Monday. The company that makes the drug, Zogenix, argued in a lawsuit that the ban is unconstitutional, according to The Wall Street Journal.
A vending machine that dispenses marijuana will soon be open for business in Colorado, NPR reports. The machine is able to verify a customer’s age, according to its creators.
Following the decision by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to order a ban on prescribing and dispensing the pure hydrocodone painkiller Zohydro, Vermont’s governor announced an emergency order to make it more difficult for doctors to prescribe the drug.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state’s largest health insurer, announced it has reduced prescriptions of narcotic painkillers by about 6.6 million pills in the past 18 months.
About 3.7 million Americans, who live in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, suffer from mental illness, psychological distress or a substance use disorder and don’t have health insurance, according to a recent report.
Democratic governors around the country are reluctant to support the legalization of marijuana, despite enthusiasm for the idea among voters in their party. The New York Times reports the governors are concerned about managing legalization, as well as being perceived as being soft on crime by Republicans.
The pure hydrocodone drug Zohydro ER (extended release) will be banned in Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick has announced. He cited a public health emergency stemming from opioid abuse, Reuters reports.
A growing number of states are changing their approach to low-level drug users, emphasizing treatment instead of incarceration, according to The Washington Post. The change is a result of both reduced budgets and shifting views on drug use.