The death on Sunday of film star Philip Seymour Hoffman from an apparent drug overdose has reverberated around the nation and the globe, casting fresh light on the scourge of drug addiction. Here in Maine, where heroin overdose deaths are on the rise, lawmakers are considering wider distribution of a medication that brings drug abusers who overdose back from the brink of death.
Other top health stories this week:
CVS Caremark Corp. said on Wednesday that it would stop selling tobacco products at its 7,600 stores by October, becoming the first national drugstore chain in the United States to take cigarettes off the shelf. Keep an eye on bangordailynews.com for local reaction to this story later today from BDN Portland Bureau Chief Seth Koenig.
A bill before the Legislature’s Insurance and Financial Affairs Committee is designed to protect health insurance consumers by requiring more up-front disclosure on whether a new plan will cover a patient’s current doctor and medical facilities. The bill aims to make sure consumers and health care providers understand which hospitals and doctors are included in an insurance plan and why.
Target’s recent data breach has triggered debates in Congress about whether consumers’ data is being properly protected. But despite its security flaws, the retail sector isn’t the industry most vulnerable to breaches. That dubious honor goes to health care.
Many people are familiar with the signs of a heart attack in men, including pain down the arm and severe chest pain. A woman’s symptoms of a heart attack, however, are often nebulous and can be misdiagnosed.
The city and a local nonprofit are working toward as smooth a transition as possible as administration of a popular parenting program changes hands. But despite those efforts, nurses employed by the city will be laid off and some parents, who have become accustomed to regular in-home visits by medical specialists, will no longer receive check-ins from visiting nurses.
From our bloggers
Jim LaPierre, Recovery Rocks
Expanding use of this medication is a common sense measure that will reduce deaths in our state.
Pattie Reaves, After the Couch
It was so simple, I didn’t think that it would just work. But when I finally took it to heart, that was when I started making progress. Progress I could maintain.
From the source
Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Maine CDC released updated flu numbers on Tuesday. So far this season, lab tests have confirmed 951 cases in the state, with Penobscot County hit hardest. The flu is designated as widespread in Maine. A nursery school in Westbrook closed Wednesday due to a flu outbreak.