DRUGS

Updated on March 2 at 10:47 a.m. ET

The White House convened a summit on the opioid epidemic Thursday, where first lady Melania Trump said she is proud of the what the administration has already accomplished on the issue, but that "we all know there is much work still to be done."

Although he had not been expected to participate, President Trump briefly joined the event.

Opioids are on the White House agenda Thursday — President Trump plans to talk with members of his administration about the crisis. Meanwhile, all around the United States, state legislators, treatment providers, families and many others will be listening.

Scientists at Yale University think they’ve found one factor in what puts some people at higher risk of opioid addiction. It’s a genetic variation that works on the central nervous system.

The State of Connecticut is starting a new public awareness campaign to address the opioid crisis. On Monday the State released a PSA called “Change the Script.”

The State is distributing the PSA and other materials to local health departments and providers around the state. It focuses on what are generally seen as the three prongs of the fight against opioid misuse: prevention, treatment and recovery.

Opioids
Hailey R. Staker / U.S. Air Force

Pittsfield, Sturbridge, West Springfield, Palmer, and Charlton are among the cities and towns in central and western Massachusetts that are taking legal action against manufacturers and distributors of opioids.

For the first time in seven years, say Massachusetts officials, the death rate from opioid-related overdoses is decreasing.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

The number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts fell an estimated 8.3 percent from 2016 to 2017, marking the first year-over-year decline in several years, the Department of Public Health announced Wednesday. 

Purdue Pharma, the Stamford-based maker of Oxycontin, says it will no longer be marketing its bestselling opioid to physicians. 

At first glance, the numbers look optimistic. After three years of increases in family court cases related to addiction such as child abuse and neglect, numbers were down for fiscal year 2017.

More than three months after President Trump declared the nation's opioid crisis a public health emergency, activists and health care providers say they're still waiting for some other action.

The Trump administration quietly renewed the declaration recently. But it has given no signs it's developing a comprehensive strategy to address an epidemic that claims more than 115 lives every day. The president now says that to combat opioids, he's focused on enforcement, not treatment.

Marijuana.
futurefilmworks / Creative Commons

Almost exactly a year after voters in Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana, pot sales faced a reckoning in the town of Longmeadow.

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