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Heroin is a very addictive chemical called diacetylmorphine. Heroin is a modified form of morphine, a highly abundant opium derived from the seedpods of the poppy plant.
Viewpoints: Lower health spending is welcome news; media bias against health law success

Viewpoints: Lower health spending is welcome news; media bias against health law success

The last few years have seen a puzzling and welcome new trend in health care spending: Instead of going up and up, increases have slowed way down. [More]
Pennsylvania releases statewide guidelines on use of prescription opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

Pennsylvania releases statewide guidelines on use of prescription opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

On behalf of Governor Tom Corbett, the Pennsylvania Departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs and Health, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Medical Society, today released statewide guidelines to address the use of prescription opioids to treat chronic non-cancer pain. [More]
Rockefeller scientists identify protein that makes breast cancer cells more likely to metastasize

Rockefeller scientists identify protein that makes breast cancer cells more likely to metastasize

Using an innovative tool that captures heretofore hidden ways that cells are regulated, scientists at Rockefeller University have identified a protein that makes breast cancer cells more likely to metastasize. [More]
State highlights: N.Y. legalizes medical marijuana; La. Medicaid paid for ineligible inmate care; Md. checking Medicaid rolls for unqualified

State highlights: N.Y. legalizes medical marijuana; La. Medicaid paid for ineligible inmate care; Md. checking Medicaid rolls for unqualified

New York on Monday became the 23rd state to legalize certain forms of marijuana for medical reasons as Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation into law at an event in Manhattan. The measure, which passed both houses of the legislature during the final moments of the legislative session, in June, is significantly more restrictive than other medical-marijuana laws in the nation (Orden, 7/7). [More]
State highlights: Caring for Texans injured on-the-job; heroin deaths in Md.; pertussis in Calif.

State highlights: Caring for Texans injured on-the-job; heroin deaths in Md.; pertussis in Calif.

In formerly depressed South Texas, gas flares from the fracking boom can be seen from outer space. While Texas has a Division of Workers' Compensation, it is the only state that doesn't require any private employer to carry workers' compensation insurance or a private equivalent, so more than 500,000 people have no occupational benefits when they get injured at work. That means they often rely on charities or taxpayers to pay for their care (Root, 6/29) [More]
State highlights: Ohio managed care plans launch; Bluecross Blueshield plan faces Ore. lawsuit; N.Y. policy on unvaccinated children upheld

State highlights: Ohio managed care plans launch; Bluecross Blueshield plan faces Ore. lawsuit; N.Y. policy on unvaccinated children upheld

A selection of health policy stories from Ohio, Oregon, New York, Colorado, Iowa, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia, California and Minnesota. [More]
State highlights: N.Y. lawmakers deal on heroin abuse; N.Y. birth control discrimination bill; nursing home costs in Mich.

State highlights: N.Y. lawmakers deal on heroin abuse; N.Y. birth control discrimination bill; nursing home costs in Mich.

A selection of health policy stories from New York, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, California, Texas, Washington state, Missouri, Massachusetts and Colorado. [More]
First Edition: June 19, 2014

First Edition: June 19, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about how the 2015 insurance premium rates are shaping up across the country and details of consumers' experiences in trying to get their new coverage. [More]
State highlights: Illinois Medicaid digital shift delayed; N.C. hospitals fight cuts; heroin in New England

State highlights: Illinois Medicaid digital shift delayed; N.C. hospitals fight cuts; heroin in New England

Alexian Brothers Health System is suspending its effort to launch a new Medicaid program, blaming the difficulty of connecting physicians using different electronic records systems. The Arlington Heights, Ill.-based health system was spearheading a so-called accountable care entity (ACE) to coordinate the care of about 46,000 patients on Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled. The ACEs are a form of managed care, one of Gov. Pat Quinn's initiatives to focus on preventative treatment to keep patients healthy and reduce health care costs (Schorsch, 6/17). [More]
First Edition: June 18, 2014

First Edition: June 18, 2014

Today's headlines include a report that the cost of health law subsidies may push the measure's overall price tag beyond projections. [More]
Researchers find sharp increase in deaths from commonly prescribed painkillers in US, Canada

Researchers find sharp increase in deaths from commonly prescribed painkillers in US, Canada

The number of deaths involving commonly prescribed painkillers is higher than the number of deaths by overdose from heroin and cocaine combined, according to researchers at McGill University. [More]
State highlights: New La. abortion restrictions; new Mass. hospital deal; Medicare and ambulances in N.J.

State highlights: New La. abortion restrictions; new Mass. hospital deal; Medicare and ambulances in N.J.

A selection of health policy stories from Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Georgia, Missouri, Maryland, New York, Kansas and Washington state. [More]
First Edition: June 13, 2014

First Edition: June 13, 2014

Today's headlines include various updates on what Virginia lawmakers did in an attempt to resolve the state's budget impasse and Medicaid expansion debate. [More]

Mass. to spend $20 million to combat opioid use

Governor Deval Patrick announced the plan Tuesday that will also team with five other New England states to upgrade treatment and expand coverage abuse of the drugs. [More]
New therapeutic interventions could render addiction into manageable disease

New therapeutic interventions could render addiction into manageable disease

Neuroscientists agree that abuse of drugs hijacks circuits in the brain that are crucial for decision-making, but society as a whole tends to stigmatize addicted people for lacking self-control. [More]
BioDelivery Sciences receives approval of NDA for BUNAVAIL from FDA

BioDelivery Sciences receives approval of NDA for BUNAVAIL from FDA

BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. received approval of the New Drug Application (NDA) for BUNAVAILâ„¢ (buprenorphine and naloxone) buccal film (CIII) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). [More]

Many heroin users transitioned from prescription opioids, finds study

A research paper published in the May 28, 2014 issue of JAMA Psychiatry a paper entitled "The Changing Face of Heroin Use in the United States A Retrospective Analysis of the Past 50 Years" concluded that heroin abuse has left low-income urban areas and has become prevalent in more affluent suburbs and rural areas with mostly white populations. [More]

Community OOPPs can improve bystander responses to overdose of heroin

Community opioid overdose prevention programs (OOPPs)-including the use of naloxone for rapid drug reversal-can improve bystander responses to overdose of heroin and related drugs, according to a review in the June Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. [More]
State highlights: NYC mental health task force; Minn. seeks marijuana boss; N.C. disparities for gay community

State highlights: NYC mental health task force; Minn. seeks marijuana boss; N.C. disparities for gay community

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new task force Monday to overhaul how New York City's corrections system treats the mentally ill -- both in jail and out -- following the grisly deaths of two inmates with psychological problems (6/2). [More]
First Edition: June 3, 2014

First Edition: June 3, 2014

Today's headlines include coverage of Medicare data released Monday indicating that 2012 charges for some common inpatient hospital procedures dramatically increased over the previous year. [More]