In Uncommon But Significant Move, NC Budget Defines Treatment For Opioid Disorder

The move on funding is set to change how people with addiction get treatment, says North Carolina Health News. Meanwhile, a small, rural Florida county saw nine deaths from fentanyl overdoses over the July 4 weekend, just shy of the entire number of such deaths in 2021.

North Carolina Health News:
Tweaks In Opioid Funding Could Mean Changes For People With Addiction 

North Carolina lawmakers passed their state budget compromise last week, and there was a noticeable change in the way they described funding to help people with substance use disorder. In the latest budget, state lawmakers defined treatment for opioid use disorder and included the medications that have been most helpful for people. (Knopf, 7/7)

Rural Florida County Shocked By Fentanyl Deaths Over Holiday

A small, largely rural county west of Florida’s capital experienced an unheard-of spike in deadly drug overdoses believed to be caused by fentanyl over the July 4 weekend, with nine people dying in the latest sign that a national crisis is becoming even more far-reaching. In all of 2021, Gadsden County had just 10 overdoses, Sheriff Morris Young said. He couldn’t recall any being fatal. (Farrington, 7/7)

From California —

San Francisco Chronicle:
S.F. Will Try Removing Police From Low-Level 911 Calls About Homelessness

San Francisco plans to create a six-month pilot program to have community workers instead of police respond to low-level emergency calls about homelessness — a year after supervisors set aside $3 million for the initiative. But the program is still up to a year away from launching, officials said. (Moench, 7/6)

San Francisco Chronicle:
California Voters Will Weigh In On Dialysis Clinics For The Third Time In Four Years. Here’s What’s Different This Time

A nearly identical version of Prop. 29 appeared on the state’s 2020 ballot and failed. Voters also rejected Prop. 8, a related measure, in 2018. All three were filed by the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), an Oakland-based union that represents medical workers. (Pak, 7/6)

California Woman Fakes Cancer, Forges Notes To Avoid Prison 

One note submitted to the federal judge sentencing a 38-year-old California woman for embezzlement claimed that a biopsy had revealed “cancerous cells” in her uterus. Another indicated that she was undergoing a surgical procedure, and her cancer had spread to the cervix. Yet another letter warned she “cannot be exposed to COVID-19” because of her fragile state. But federal officials say the notes and cancer were all fake, and now Ashleigh Lynn Chavez is headed to prison for three times as long. The court this week added an additional two years to her initial, one-year prison sentence. (7/6)

From Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. —

The Boston Globe:
EPA Warns Company Dismantling Pilgrim Plant Against Dumping Potentially Radioactive Waste Water Into Cape Cod Bay

In a stern letter, the Environmental Protection Agency warned the company dismantling the decommissioned Pilgrim nuclear power plant against proceeding with a plan to dump waste water into Cape Cod Bay. The letter, dated June 17 and released by Senator Edward J. Markey’s office Wednesday, was the latest salvo in a controversy that has roiled South Shore and Cape Cod communities since last fall. That’s when the company, Holtec, floated the possibility of dumping approximately 1 million gallons of radioactive waste water into the bay. (Damiano, 7/6)

The Washington Post:
D.C. Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt Resigns 

D.C. Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt will resign at the end of the month, she told The Washington Post Wednesday, ending a near-eight-year run for one of Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s longest-serving cabinet members who played an instrumental role in the city’s day-to-day response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Brice-Saddler, 7/6)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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