It came as a surprise to many people when Vermont's governor recently devoted his entire 2014 State of the State address to what he called a "full-blown heroin crisis."
While it may not fit Vermont's bucolic image, the state's addiction problem has long been acknowledged. And as the state has expanded treatment, it's also been coming to grips with one of the most difficult and emotional aspects of the issue: addicted mothers.
Portsmouth police say they've made a ninth arrest in connection with a months-long heroin ring investigation. The ninth suspect--21-year old Chelsea Glover of Milton--was arrested Friday night on charges of selling heroin. She was being held on $5,000 bail. Seven other people have been charged with felony-level drug offenses. One was charged with misdemeanor trespassing.
A New Hampshire high school has sent out an email to parents asking them to talk to their children about the party drug "Molly," which has been linked to two college student deaths.
School officials said they have not seen any evidence of Molly, considered a slang reference to the drug Ecstasy, on campus at Pembroke Academy. But they said they want the parents of their 875 students to know more about the drug.
With any black market, it's impossible to track the full extent of its reach. One way to estimate the relative quantity of various drugs in the city is to track undercover drug buys and seizures by the police department. This system of measurement, however, is an imperfect science; large busts (see: cocaine, 2009) skew numbers for a particular year, throwing off the curve, and budgetary and tactical considerations can restrict potential drug buys.
Breaking Bad follows a high school science teacher who cooks up meth with a former student, kicking off a fast slide into murder, extortion and unsavory partnerships as a bona fide drug lord. Too crazy to be true…right? Well, maybe not. In 2011, police in California arrested Stephen Kinzey; professor by day, outlaw biker and meth distributor by night. Kinzey has been out on bail since his initial arrest. The preliminary hearing to determine whether or not the case against him is strong enough to go to trial was scheduled for June, it’s since been delayed.
Los Tigres del Norte’s 1972 breakthrough hit, “Contrabando y Traicion” – is a song which, despite its cheery tone and instrumentation, tells the dark tale of two lovers trafficking marijuana in the tires of their car…a story that ends in betrayal and murder. The song is what is called a “narco-corrido”, or drug ballad. After returning from a two-year stint teaching grade-school in one of the most dangerous parts of Honduras, Ted Griswold and Chris Valdes find themselves wanting to return… they’re raising funds on Kickstarter for a documentary film about Honduras’ most famous underground drug-ballad band, Los Plebes de Olancho.
In a story riddled with cliché, world renowned particle physicist, Paul Frampton, was arrested in a Buenos Aires Airport last year for checking a bag stuffed with a half million dollars full of cocaine. Like a CSI plot gone off the rails, his explanation defied common sense: his online girlfriend/Czech bikini model forgot it at the airport and asked him to bring to her.
The rest of New England now allows use of marijuana for certain health conditions. And with a Governor-elect saying she’s open to the idea here….supporters are feeling hopeful. But opponents still have many concerns, among them: that medical marijuana would be hard to control, encouraging use by those who aren’t even sick.
The Department of Justice announced a major drug bust today involving members of a Mexican cartel.
Undercover agents from the FBI and Boston Police Department tracked the suspects for three years as part of Operation Dark Water. Posing as European drug traffickers, they met with members of the Sinaloa Cartel at undisclosed locations in New Hampshire, Florida and the Virgin Islands.
Mike Doughty’s 2005 album Haughty Melodic was a breakthrough for the singer-songwriter…before going solo, Doughty had founded and fronted the 90’s band Soul Coughing…which he disbanded in 2000, much to the chagrin of die-hard fans. But there was a reason beyond the typical story of egos and bad record deals for that band’s demise…one that Doughty hints at in haughty melodic’s biggest hit, "Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well.”
A pair of new studies indicates that depression could be detectable by a blood test. So far, depression has primarily been diagnosed through non-medical means and descriptions of common symptoms. Here with more on the recently discovered connection between the brain and blood is Jennifer Welsh, staff writer for Live Science who wrote about the research.
Colombia was once associated with cocaine trafficking and powerful drug lords, but today's reality is different: It's stable, a magnet for foreign investment and diplomatically engaged — and this weekend hosts the Summit of the Americas. Increasingly, Colombia is seen as South America's rising star.
Australia is a huge island, with stretches of lonely, rocky coastline that extend for thousands of miles. What's more, there are lots of harbors and airports.
In short, opportunities are plentiful for an enterprising Mexican drug trafficker to move his product 8,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean to service the vibrant new market Down Under.
One such drug lord is Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, head of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel. He's a cunning, small-statured, exceedingly dangerous outlaw recently dubbed "the world's most powerful drug trafficker" by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Federal prosecutors say they have dropped its doping case against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. For two years, prosecutors looked into allegations that Armstrong and his United States Postal squad used performance-enhancing drugs.
A governor’s commission has released a report detailing surprising levels of prescription drug abuse in New Hampshire. The commission’s findings give weight to a push to create a prescription drug monitoring program in the state.
According to the report, almost 17 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds in New Hampshire say they have abused prescription drugs in the past year. That’s the second highest rate in the country.
New Hampshire has one of the worst prescription drug abuse problems in the country. The state now ranks 5th in the nation for percentage of residents who abuse medications such as percocet, vicodin, and oxycodone, according to the Federal Centers for Disease Control. The problem is especially alarming among young people. New Hampshire has the second highest rate of 18-25 year olds who abuse prescription drugs in the nation.
Danielle Fiore , 24, says she was addicted to painkillers for most of her childhood.
"I had fractured my ankle and I was prescribed vicodin and it felt good. I was ten or eleven," she says. "As time went on I would get something else hurt or a toothache or something and I would get more painkillers. I have a bunch of teeth missing because I would complain and get them pulled so I would get pain killers."
Currently New Hampshire has no prescription drug monitoring program. The program, which is up and running in 48 other states, is initially funded through federal grants. The proposal to create a centralized prescription database that doctors and law enforcement could check to track so called "doctor shoppers" has been defeated several times in the state Legislature. A new bill is now being considered this session and its sponsor Senator Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, is hopeful that there is enough support for a statewide prescription monitoring program this time. He cites the growing number of overdose deaths in the state from prescription drugs. In the last decade overdose deaths from these medications have more than tripled.
For those who oppose a statewide prescription drug database privacy is a major issue. Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare, says such a program goes against the Granite State's core philosophy.
"This is New Hampshire, this is the 'Live Free or Die' state, " says Kurk. "One of the major reasons this bill has not been adopted is because most people feel it’s the independent philosophy, personal responsibility philosophy that prevails and that government should be small and not interfere with people’s lives."
Many of the state's independent pharmacists are also against a monitoring program because they worry they will end up footing the bill. The database would be drawn from pharmacy records. Rick Newman, a lobbyist for the New Hampshire Independent Pharmacy Association, says the small business people he represents will be end up carrying the burden of the costs of such a database.
"I can’t sit here as anyone with any kind of intelligence and disagree that’s there's a problem with people abusing prescription drugs in this country, of course there is," says Newman. "The question becomes whose burden is that? We can’t pass laws to put the burden on the small business person because they happen to be one part of the pipeline."
Emergency room doctors and those that treat pain say they are often confronted by patients who may be faking symptoms to get narcotics for their addiction or to sell on the street.
"I want people who have legitimate pain to get the proper pain medications that they need," say Dr. David Heller, an emergency room physician at Portsmouth Hospital. "But I don’t want to feed somebody’s addiction and I don’t want to write a prescription for drugs that are going to be sold to my kids or my kid's friends."
New numbers show the Granite State is near the top when it comes to abusing painkillers. Also, New Hampshire is one of only two states that does not monitor the purchases of these medications. We’ll explore that latest on this issue, and what some are in New Hampshire are doing to reverse these sobering numbers.