Stories

The Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center in Plymouth houses men for court-mandated addiction treatment. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Group Of Civilly Committed Men Sues Massachusetts Alleging Gender Discrimination In ‘Section 35’ Law

March 14, 2019

A group of men is suing the state of Massachusetts over the law, known as “Section 35,” that allowed a judge to involuntarily commit each of them to addiction treatment.

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March 11, 2019

Half a year since the opening of the MGM casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, some mental health counselors are seeing an uptick in gambling among clients — though not necessarily an increase in people seeking addiction treatment.

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The Lure Of Luck: How Gambling Can Turn Addictive For Southeast Asian Refugees

February 6, 2019

Quyen Truong still gets a cozy feeling when she sees a hand of cards.

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Photo by Ralf Steinberger, Creative Commons, Flickr

Compulsive Gambling Expected To Spike As MGM Springfield Opens

August 24, 2018

Massachusetts is offering a program called GameSense to help prevent compulsive gambling. But where can people go when that program doesn’t work?  About two percent of all state residents say they have an addiction to gambling, according to UMass researcher Rachel Volberg, who studies gambling trends for the state.

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Emergency personnel respond to the overdose crisis on New Haven Green. Photo by Diane Orson for Connecticut Public Radio

New Haven City Officials Call For State Help In Overdose Crisis

August 17, 2018

Over 100 people are now known have overdosed on the New Haven Green since Tuesday night, apparently as a result of using part of a bad batch of the synthetic cannabinoid K2. Officials say that the man-made drug and this particular batch was designed to have a more potent effect on the people who took it—so they could become addicted.

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Heather Carter lives with her family in Lyme, New Hampshire. She says the Moms in Recovery program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock has allowed her to stay completely sober for the first time since she was a young teen. Photo by Britta Greene for NHPR

In Fight Against Opioids, New Hampshire Looks to Expand Programs Aimed at Pregnant Women

May 24, 2018

New Hampshire health officials decided to prioritize a specific demographic this year when allocating scarce federal funds toward the opioid epidemic: pregnant and newly post-partum women.

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Clarence, 53, seen here by the Forest Hills MBTA station, says he's been addicted to heroin for 30 years. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Black Drug Users Grapple With Surging Opioid Overdose Death Rates

May 24, 2018

In 2017, overdose death rates dropped 13 percent for whites and 4 percent for Latinos, but increased 26 percent for blacks.

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John Broderick, a former chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, speaks to high school students in Salem, N.H., about mental health awareness. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

He Wants To Encourage People To Talk About Mental Illness. So He Talks About His Son

May 7, 2018

A former New Hampshire Supreme Court chief justice is visiting schools in New England to talk about the darkest time in his life. Usually he ends up hearing from students about some of their dark times, too.

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From left to right: Felito Diaz, Julio Cesar Santiago, Richard Lopez and Irma Bermudez speak at Casa Esperanza, a collection of day treatment, residential programs and transitional housing in Roxbury. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Latinos Are Hit Especially Hard By The Opioid Crisis In Mass. But Why?

May 3, 2018

These numbers suggest the opioid crisis is hitting Latinos especially hard in Massachusetts. State officials say they don’t know why. But interviews with current and former drug users, addiction treatment providers and physicians reveal a range of problems that put Latinos at greater risk of an overdose and death.

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Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan, right, and inspector Gina Bassett review toxicology reports on cocaine evidence, looking for the possibility of fentanyl. "Law enforcement tells us that the next wave of the addiction crisis is fentanyl-laced cocaine," Ryan says. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine Could Be ‘Next Wave’ Of Opioid Crisis, Some Warn

March 27, 2018

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.

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