Category: Cronkite News

Data visualization: Newborn drug exposures

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 Data visualization: Newborn drug exposures The following graphics depict the number of newborns — born in a hospital — who exhibited signs of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome or exposure to various drugs between 2008 and 2014. The study, conducted by Office of Injury Prevention Arizona Department of Health Services this past July, looked at newborns who were exposed to hallucinogens, cocaine, narcotics and alcohol. Hover over the data for more information. (Graphic by Sara Weber/Cronkite...

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Heroin and meth seized in Arizona sets record in busy smuggling corridor

Bailey Netsch Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 Heroin and meth seized in Arizona sets record in busy smuggling corridor U.S. authorities seized a record amount of methamphetamine and heroin in the busy Arizona smuggling corridor. “What used to be a kilo seizure of heroin was seen as a very significant seizure,” said Erica Curry, spokesperson for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Phoenix. “Now we are seeing dozens of kilos at a time and pounds, hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine.” Though less marijuana is crossing the Arizona-Sonora border, the amount of hard drugs being smuggled has spiked in the past five years. Read more: Data visualization: Drug seizures in Arizona Since 2010 heroin seizures in Arizona have risen from 163 kilograms to more than 500 kilograms in 2015. Methamphetamine grew from 732 kilograms to nearly 3,000 kilograms this year. Heroin and meth mostly enter the U.S. through ports of entry in Arizona where cartels stash the drugs in hidden compartments in vehicles driven across the border. In one recent smuggling attempt on October 5, Customs and Border Protection officers detained a 70-year-old U.S. citizen at the Lukeville border and seized 37 pounds of meth hidden in a spare tire. The drugs were worth more than $300,000. In March General Barry R. McCaffrey (Ret.) told a Homeland Security Senate Committee hearing that only 5-10 percent of illegal drugs coming across the border...

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As more pregnant women use heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs, more babies suffer the consequences

Claire Cleveland Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 As more pregnant women use heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs, more babies suffer the consequences Nathan Lepp, a neonatologist who works with ill and premature infants, leans over a white crib to check a monitor that hangs above on the wall of the neonatal unit at Maricopa Integrated Health Systems. The white crib is empty, but a tiny knit purple hat rests on the soft sheets along with a horseshoe shaped pillow. The bed has been prepped for a baby girl who will use it after she’s born. But her bed is not where newborns are usually monitored – this bed is for babies who cry inconsolably as they withdraw from illicit substances their mothers used while pregnant. “We see it on almost a daily basis,” Lepp said. “This is a burgeoning epidemic that really has just happened in the last five or eight years that those of us who take care of babies now really are dealing with everyday.” The number of women nationwide who reported using heroin jumped from 83,000 in 2013 to 109,000 in 2014 – with 4,000 to 5,000 of them admitting to using while pregnant, according to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health prepared for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Babies exposed to narcotics while their mothers are pregnant experience vomiting, diarrhea,...

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Report: Arizona college grads’ student debt among lowest in nation

Charles McConnell Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015 Report: Arizona college grads’ student debt among lowest in nation WASHINGTON – Arizona college graduates in the class of 2014 had the fifth-lowest student debt in the nation, finishing their schooling at four-year, non-profit schools with an average bill of $22,609, according to a new report. The report released Tuesday by the Institute for College Access and Success also said Arizona had a relatively low percentage of students graduating in debt: The 57 percent of state graduates carrying debt was tied for 14th-lowest in the nation. Earning a degree in debt The Institute for College Access and Success looked at student debt in states across the country for 2014, and compared that the levels of debt in 2004, Arizona fared well in both areas. Average debt for graduates in the class of 2014: 1. Utah: $18,921 2. New Mexico: $18,969 3. Nevada: $20,211 4. California: $21,382 5. Arizona: $22,609 Increase in average debt for graduates in 2004 vs. 2014: 1. Idaho: 17 percent 2. Louisiana: 21 percent 3. Iowa: 23 percent 4. Arizona: 25 percent 5. Florida: 32 percent Nationally, 69 percent of students had college debt, and the average bill was $28,950, according to the report which is part of the institute’s Project on Student Debt. The report, and experts who looked at it, said the numbers should be looked at with...

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Bat Week hopes to debunk negative rumors about bats

Elizabeth Blackburn Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015 Bat Week hopes to debunk negative rumors about bats Government and private agencies are seeking to educate the public about bats and their vital role in Arizona’s ecosystem. Cronkite reporter Elizabeth Blackburn attended a conference in Washington D.C. to get the story. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;...

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