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State lawmakers are moving closer to snuffing out synthetic versions of cocaine and marijuana in West Virginia.

Both the House of Delegates and state Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed similar proposals (HB2505, SB63) to make it illegal to possess or distribute the drugs, often found in convenience stores and head shops.

 

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"It's the alcohol hangover," Gerardo Cuapio thought five years ago when he woke up thirsty and with blurred vision. National Health Journalism Fellow Pedro Frisneda tells the story of a man who was on the verge of death without knowing he had Type 2 diabetes. It's a cautionary tale for what happens to many Latin American immigrants who move to the United States, adopting a new lifestyle and diet that can contribute to developing the disease. "The Big Apple is confronting one of the worst diabetes epidemics in the nation and health authorities have declared it an emergency," with Hispanics suffering disproportionately.

This story was originally published in Spanish. Below is the English translation.

Part 2: In the kingdom of fats and sugar

Part 3: In a sedentary country

Picture of William Heisel

It’s nice to hear an attorney speak plainly.

New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Debra Conrad said recently, of a doctor accused of selling painkillers to patients he had never examined, that he “is no different than a street-corner drug dealer. He sold drugs to people for money. The only difference is that he did so under cover of his medical practice."

The doctor in question is Dr. Magdy Elamir.

Picture of Alison Knezevich

Prescription drug abuse is growing nationwide, but West Virginia was one of the first places hit by the problem. When I picked this topic, I didn't realize how complex it was. The drugs are widely available. Doctors are struggling to treat pain with effective medications without suppl

Picture of William Heisel

For a field rooted in fact and reason, science sure loves witchcraft.

One of the most common responses to the decade-long effort to hold Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues accountable for creating one of the biggest public health scares in modern history – linking autism to the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine – is to call the effort a “witch hunt.”

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

You might think that spending ten years on the street, two of them at 6th and Mission, might mean that a person is a hopeless case. If you're thinking that way, even secretly in your mind, as you pass people huddled under urine-soaked gray-felted blankets, then now's the time for you to meet

Picture of Christina Elston

Eight weeks without food. Five days without water. Three minutes without air. In the world of survival math, breathing is at the top of almost every equation. But here in the L.A. Basin, we inhale much more than life-sustaining oxygen, drawing in a mix of ozone, carbon

Picture of William Heisel

When Dr. Harrell Robinson walked into the surgical suite to start a liposuction procedure on Maria Garcia he was already in a world of trouble.

Picture of Alison Knezevich

Some West Virginia lawmakers want to ban K2 and other so-called synthetic marijuana products, which are growing in popularity.

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