MEDICINE

Lucio Perez greets friends after arriving back into the First Church of Amherst, Mass., after a stay in Cooley Dickinson Hospital for a medical emergency.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

What happens when an immigrant facing deportation seeks sanctuary in a church, but then needs to leave to get surgery? That happened in western Massachusetts this week. 

The tall, gangly man twists a cone of paper in his hands as stories from nearly 30 years of addiction pour out: the robbery that landed him in prison at 17; never getting his GED; going through the horrors of detox, maybe 40 times, including this latest, which he finished two weeks ago. He’s now in a residential unit for at least 30 days.

Nurses on the picket line at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Mass. during a one-day strike in June 2017.
Dave Roback / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Union nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Massachusetts, went on strike last week for the second time in less than a year. They're back at work now, and say they want to resume negotiations. 

As opioid overdose deaths rapidly increase, the U.S. Surgeon General is urging more people to carry naloxone, the overdose-reversal drug. The recommendation is strongly supported by The Connecticut State Medical Society.

Confessions Of A Reticent Abortionist

Apr 5, 2018
Graffiti.
Edson Chilundo / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/edson_ac

Most mornings, there's an elderly man in front of my office holding a sign that says: "Thou shall not murder."

Fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin tells NPR's Morning Edition that political forces in the Trump administration want to privatize the VA — and that he was standing in the way.

"There are many political appointees in the VA that believe that we are moving in the wrong direction or weren't moving fast enough toward privatizing the VA," he said. "I think that it's essential for national security and for the country that we honor our commitment by having a strong VA. I was not against reforming VA, but I was against privatization."

A pipe was the only sign of drug use near Chris Bennett’s body, in November. But it looked like the 32-year-old Taunton native had stopped breathing and died of an opioid overdose. Bennett’s mother Liisa couldn’t understand what happened. Then she saw the toxicology report.

“I’m convinced he was smoking cocaine that was laced,” she says. “That’s what he had in his system was cocaine and fentanyl.”

Figures on overdose deaths grab headlines, but treatment data could save lives. In response, health officials have released new information on emergency room visits for drug overdoses, numbers that paint a fuller picture of the state's opioid crisis.

A clean-cut man in his early 30s buttons the jacket of his tailored suit as he strides to the head of a conference table at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“Hi, I’m Mike, and I’m a recovering heroin addict,” the man tells a dozen emergency department (ED) physicians gathered to learn about buprenorphine, a drug used to treat heroin addiction.

Marijuana plants.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

With less than four months to go before the first legal sales of adult-use marijuana are supposed to begin in Massachusetts, the agency tasked with overseeing the cannabis industry has finalized its regulations.

Pages