DRUGS

President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency on Thursday, freeing up resources to deal with the epidemic.

Last year, more than 64,000 people died from drug overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics. Many of those overdoses were from heroin, prescription painkillers, fentanyl and other opioids.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

President Trump declared a public health emergency to deal with the opioid epidemic Thursday, freeing up some resources for treatment. More than 140 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We are currently dealing with the worst drug crisis in American history," Trump said, adding, "it's just been so long in the making. Addressing it will require all of our effort."

"We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic," he said.

Rat-a-tat-tat came the verdicts.

Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty. The jury had made its decision, bringing forth convictions for mail fraud, racketeering, for putting adulterated and misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with intent to defraud and mislead.

The verdicts came in a relentless chain of humiliation for Glenn Chin, the former supervisory pharmacist at the New England Compounding Center.

And yet his attorneys were quietly overjoyed. They had beaten the murder charges.

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., has withdrawn his name from consideration as America's drug czar, President Trump said Tuesday. Marino is stepping back days after reports that legislation he sponsored hindered the Drug Enforcement Administration in its fight against the U.S. opioid crisis.

On April 17, Katie Herzog checked into a Boston teaching hospital for what turned out to be a nine-hour-long back surgery.

The 68-year-old consulting firm president left the hospital with a prescription for Dilaudid, an opioid used to treat severe pain, and instructions to take two pills every four hours, as needed. Herzog took close to the full dose for about two weeks.

Then, worried about addiction, she began asking questions.

Justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court are reviewing some complex questions about how courts deal with addiction.

Arguments heard by the SJC on Monday involve whether courts can require someone with a substance use disorder to remain drug-free.

The justices asked tough questions of both sides, starting with attorney Lisa Newman-Polk. Her client, Julie Eldred, was sent to jail for failing a drug test while on probation for a larceny charge.

Varieties of marijuana.
File photo / The Republican

Before retail sales of marijuana begin in Massachusetts, researchers are studying the drug's current effect on public safety.

Big Heroin Trafficking Organization Busted In Springfield

Aug 8, 2017
Hampden DIstrict Attorney Anthony Gulluni announced the drug raids and arrests during a press conference on August 8, 2017.
Sean Teehan / NEPR

Local, state and federal law enforcement officials say they have busted a "high level heroin trafficking organization" in western Massachusetts. 

Jesse Carrillo, left, talks to his lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr. of Boston, after the guilty verdicts were announced on May 30, 2017.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette

A former UMass graduate student will be sentenced Wednesday in the heroin overdose death of another student.

Jesse Carrillo was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and distribution after Eric Sinacori died from heroin supplied by Carrillo.