National / International News

India presses Pakistan on militants

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 04:30
India's new PM Narendra Modi urges his Pakistani counterpart to crack down on militants and speed up the trial of the 2008 Mumbai attacks suspects.

French opposition leader to resign

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 04:22
The leader of France's opposition UMP party announces he will quit after allegations of party funding fraud in 2012 and a poor showing at the European elections.

Haskell thrilled by England return

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 04:20
Wasps flanker James Haskell says his best form is yet to come following his recall for England's tour to New Zealand.

AUDIO: Clive James: 'I've started saying goodbye'

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 04:15
Writer and broadcaster Clive James speaks about his life and illness with the Today programme's James Naughtie.

Police investigate patient restraint

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 04:08
A police force confirms it is investigating claims of unlawful patient restraint at a West Midlands Hospital trust.

Heroin, opiate addicts find it tough to get treatment

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-05-27 04:07

Sheryl Santiago's son, Erik, was addicted to pills he'd been prescribed for anxiety and depression.

But when he finally decided to quit, he learned that asking for help and getting it can be two very different things.

"As soon as he contacted [a treatment facility], he thought he could go that night,” Santiago recalled. “He was ready to go and then he just got more and more discouraged."

Erik didn't have health insurance, and neither he nor his parents could afford the private facilities, where a month of treatment can cost as much as $30,000. So the first step for the family was to purchase insurance for Erik.

"When we got the insurance, they only covered a couple places, and they had waiting lists," she said.

A few weeks later, Erik was moved off the waitlist at a local treatment facility in Ocean County, N.J. However, he had been trying to stop using drugs on his own while he waited for help, and the program he was accepted into was the kind of place that helps patients detox with the assistance of medication. Like many facilities of this type, it required potential patients to be active drug users to get treatment -- to actually fail a drug test.

"He told me, he goes, 'Don't be mad at me if I use something because I have to test dirty in order to go into their program,'” said Santiago. “And he did, he must have used whatever he was using prior — the dosage — and it was too much."

Santiago said Erik had been clean for four weeks before he overdosed and died. In that time, his body may have lost some of its tolerance for the drug.

He had just turned 31 when he died, so it's hard not to play a game of “what-ifs?” but Santiago believes her son would still be here today if he'd gotten into a program right away.

"There's not enough beds, there's not enough providers,” confirmed Bruno Silie, a health educator who helps place addicts in treatment facilities at a drop-in center run by the South Jersey AIDS Alliance in Atlantic City, N.J.

"There's options, but the waiting period is ridiculous,” he added. “I've had clients wait for 60-plus days, and by that time they've given up."

"You really have to strike when the iron's hot," said Kimberly Reilly, the alcohol and drug coordinator in Ocean County, N.J. "So if someone comes to us and says I'm motivated for treatment, you really want to get them in, really, within that hour, because the next hour they could be off looking for their next hit of heroin."

There are simply not enough beds to meet New Jersey’s growing demand for substance abuse treatment. Statewide, admissions are up nearly 40 percent since 2006. As the state diverts more nonviolent drug users to treatment over prison, the waiting lists are even more of an issue.

Increasingly, people are seeking treatment for heroin and opiate additions. In Ocean County, half the admissions last year were for heroin. It's cheap and easily accessible, so many users turn to the drug after getting addicted to prescription pills, such as OxyContin.

The situation in New Jersey is mirrored across the country, according to Roseanne Scotti, director of the Drug Policy Alliance in New Jersey.

Scotti noted the Affordable Care Act will eventually add coverage for many people with mental health and substance abuse issues. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that the ACA will eventually extend coverage to approximately 11 million people with behavioral health conditions, which include mental health and substance use issues.

Without significant expansion of treatment options, that expansion may create additional backlogs.

“In some states, like New Jersey, there just isn’t the infrastructure, at this point,” said Scotti. “There’s going to have to be new facilities, new providers, new licensed addiction counselors, and that’s going to take a while to ramp up.”

In addition to expanded access to insurance, other factors – like the aging population, the high turnover of substance abuse counselors, and better medical screening for addition – affect the availability of treatment options, according to Andrea Kopstein, a division director in SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

Kopstein says the Obama administration is making a “significant investment” in both the number of treatments slots and to expand the number of professionals working in the field, SAMHSA was unable to specify how much. The most recent figure available on U.S. spending for substance abuse was $24 billion in 2009. 

Clive James is 'saying goodbye'

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 04:07
Terminally ill author Clive James says he has "started saying goodbye" through his poetry.

Cash for Nova Centre design plans

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 04:05
Plans for a £3.6 million development of a closed leisure centre in Denbighshire have moved a step closer.

Rising risk in mortgage market

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-05-27 03:59

A new report from the American Enterprise Institute suggests that home-buyers are more likely to default on new mortgages.

The mortgages were subjected to a stress test. Under the worst case scenario, an increasing percentage of the loans would fall into foreclosure.

But when considered historically, housing consultant Thomas Lawler says new mortgages are, “Substantially lower in terms of overall risk than any time in 20 plus years.”

Lawler says the risk of another all-out housing crisis is much lower because fewer mortgages are backed with borrowed money.

What language did Jesus speak?

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 03:58
Pope and Israeli PM differ over Christ's native tongue

Ukraine Retakes Airport, After Airstrikes And Dozens Of Deaths

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 03:52

Violent clashes erupted Monday and Tuesday; at least 35 people have died. Government forces launched an operation at the airport one day after Ukraine's national elections.

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VIDEO: Jet skateboard record bid revealed

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 03:46
An Australian man has announced he will attempt to break the world record for the fastest-powered street luge.

Be wary of Wikipedia, say scientists

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 03:42
The internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia contains errors in nine out of 10 of its health entries, and should be treated with caution, scientists warn.

Syria weapons inspectors 'attacked'

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 03:39
A convoy of chemical weapons inspectors and UN staff that was travelling to a site of an alleged chlorine gas attack in Syria comes under attack.

'Bronze Buckeroo' Western star dies

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 03:35
Herb Jeffries, the jazz singer and actor who performed in a series of all-black Western movies in the 1930s, dies at the age of 100.

Wales is barking mad about dogs

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 03:32
People in Wales are barking mad about dogs with one in three homes now owning one, new figures show.

E-cig 'link' as quit attempts fall

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 03:31
Statisticians say the rise of electronic cigarettes may explain a sharp fall in people seeking NHS help to quit smoking.

Electronic system 'only way forward'

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 03:30
Northern Ireland's chief electoral officer, Graham Shields, calls for future elections to use an electronic counting system.

Tribute to M4 crash teenage driver

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 03:28
The family of a teenager driver killed in a crash on the M4 say they feel "as though our hearts have been ripped out".

AUDIO: Web skills 'may help lonely elderly'

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 03:17
The elderly should be taught basic digital skills to help combat loneliness, according to the Policy Exchange.
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