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Walgreens to begin selling OTC Narcan to combat opioid epidemic

As President Donald Trump prepares to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency, customers will now be able to purchase a life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug in over 8,000 pharmacies across the nation.

>> Read more trending news 

On Tuesday, Walgreens announced that it will begin carrying Naloxone (Narcan), a medicine that can rapidly reverse the effects of an overdose upon administration via nasal spray, for sale over-the-counter in all 45 states that allow it. 

While the drug typically costs about $130 without insurance, the over-the-counter prices could be be around 25 percent lower, based on current price points and discounts for other pharmacies already carrying the drug. 

Pharmaceutical wholesaler AmerisourceBergen has given Walgreens Narcan demonstration devices for free, providing them with the opportunity to show patients how to administer the medication.

RELATED: CVS has a plan to fight the opioid crisis

“By stocking Narcan in all our pharmacies, we are making it easier for families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it is needed,” said Rick Gates, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy, in a statement. “As a pharmacy we are committed to making Narcan more accessible in the communities we serve.”

ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton praised the decision on Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” saying, “This drug saves lives. Think of this maybe as defibrillator, EpiPen, another piece of lifesaving medical equipment that probably is going to be pretty widespread now.”

Speaking from personal experience, overdose survivor Nicholas Popinski said, “I’ve overdosed three times, and it’s saved my life three times. I had got the nasal spray Narcan, and I was at home one day and I had it on top of my fridge, and I did a lot of heroin. I did a few bags, and, you know, I was nodding off pretty bad, so my dad grabbed it and hit me with the Narcan.”

Georgia, Carolinas among top 10 most sexually diseased states

New data reveals the top 10 most sexually diseased states for 2017.

Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compiled by BackgroundChecks.Org shows the rate of chlamydia and gonorrhea per 100,000 residents for each state.

>> Read more trending news 

Alaska maintained its ranking from the previous year, earning the No. 1 state with the highest rate of sexually transmitted disease. Vermont rounded out the bottom of the list.

The data comes just weeks after the CDC announced that cases of sexually transmitted disease were at their highest in the U.S.

BackgroundChecks.Org notes apps like Grindr and Tinder have increased the amount of casual sex and the risk of STDs.

Another important note: “Chlamydia rates also rose in most states, and remains the most common STD in the nation, which is often attributed to the fact that most people infected do not experience symptoms.”

Here are the top 10 most sexually diseased states:

1. Alaska2. Mississippi3. Louisiana4. Georgia 5. New Mexico6. North Carolina7. South Carolina8. Arkansas9. Delaware10. Oklahoma

Georgia rose to No. 4, three spots higher than last year, as the rate of residents with gonorrhea increased by more than 40 per 100,000 people.

North Carolina fell to the No. 6 spot from its No. 3 ranking in 2016 after seeing a decrease in chlamydia infections.

Oklahoma fell two spots from eighth place in 2016.

See the full list at BackgroundChecks.Org and read more at CDC.gov

Police officers buy 3-year-old battling cancer his own patrol car, stuffed K-9

A group of police officers in New Jersey made a young cancer patient’s day on Monday when they gifted him with his own patrol car, and a stuffed K-9 to ride along with him. 

Ben Graham, 3, of Elmer, is an avid fan of law enforcement officers, particularly police dogs, according to the Courier-Post. Ben is also a fighter, having survived neuroblastoma at the age of 18 months. 

The cancer, which the American Cancer Society says is found most often in infants and very young children, returned in June, requiring multiple cycles of immunotherapy treatment, as well as a stem cell transplant and radiation, the Courier-Post reported

He is also undergoing experimental treatments at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

>> Read more trending news

Ben’s mother, Amanda Graham, took the boy and his siblings to a Touch a Truck event a few weeks ago, where Ben met several Camden County police officers and got to see their vehicles and equipment up close. He was fascinated with the gear and the dogs, Camden County police Officer Allen Williams told the Courier-Post.

The officers, in turn, were touched by Ben’s story.

“We all have kids and families,” Williams said. “This type of illness touches us all, and we wanted to do something genuine and sincere to make him feel a little better.”

Williams and his fellow K-9 officers pooled their money and bought Ben a kid-sized truck that they customized to look like a Camden County K-9 patrol unit, complete with a sticker that warns passersby, “Caution: Police dog.”

The police dog is a stuffed German Shepherd.

The police department took to Facebook to share photos of the officers’ visit, which delighted not only Ben, but his siblings as well. The children got to watch a demonstration showing how a K-9 captures a suspect, and Ben chased the officers around the yard with his stuffed dog, barking at them, the Courier-Post said. 

“He was totally surprised and had so much fun with our officers, giving all of them hugs when it was time to go,” the department’s Facebook post read

Graham posted a heartfelt thank you on her own page.

“We can’t thank you enough,” she wrote. “Ben had such a good time, we didn’t expect this at all. Thank you for making our boy smile. (You’re) part of our family now!”

A fundraising page designed to help Ben and his family tells his story in detail, from his initial diagnosis in October 2015 to his most recent treatments. The Grahams first learned of the cancer after a visit to a urologist.

Ben underwent surgery to remove a Stage I, low-risk tumor the size of a golf ball from his adrenal gland, at which time doctors were optimistic about the outcome. Post-op scans conducted in January 2016 showed, however, that the tumor had returned.

This time, it was wrapped around both kidneys and a major artery, the fundraising page said. Doctors diagnosed Ben with Stage IV high-risk cancer. 

Chemotherapy shrunk the tumor enough to allow surgeons to remove about 97 percent of the cancer. Doctors also performed a bone marrow transplant and put Ben through several rounds of immunotherapy to keep the cancer from returning once again. 

The Grahams were preparing an “end-of-treatment party” for Ben in June when more scans showed the toddler had relapsed, the page said. 

“Unfortunately, there is no cure for relapsed neuroblastoma. But Ben and his family aren’t quitters,” the family’s post read. “They are currently awaiting a new clinical trial. Ben will be one of three children to receive an experimental treatment in pill form, which has shown success in adult lung cancer patients. He will start this trial around Labor Day.”

Rep. Betty Price says comments about quarantining HIV patients 'taken out of context'

A Georgia lawmaker now says she does not support quarantining HIV patients after she seemed to ask if it was legal to do so during a House study committee meeting last week.

>> Read more trending news

“I do not support a quarantine in this public health challenge and dilemma of undertreated HIV patients,” Georgia state Rep. Betty Price (R-Roswell) wrote in a statement.

Price, the wife of former Health and Human Services Secretary and Georgia Congressman Tom Price, was at a meeting of a House study committee last week when she asked a state health official about HIV patients.“What are we legally able to do?” Price asked during the meeting. “I don’t want to say the quarantine word, but I guess I just said it. Is there an ability since, I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxes and treatment of this condition. So we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. What would you advise? Or are there any methods, you know, that we could do that would curtail the spread?”

>> Previous story: Georgia Rep. Betty Price suggests ‘quarantine’ for HIV patients

Price said in the statement that her comments were “provocative and rhetorical” and “part of a free-flowing conversation which has been taken completely out of context.”

“I do not support a quarantine in this public health challenge,” she said.

Metro Atlanta’s LGBTQ community was quick to condemn the original statements.“The comments from Rep. Price were incredibly disturbing,” said Jeff Graham, executive director of LGBT organization Georgia Equality. “In this day and age, to be even mentioning quarantine around people living with HIV, there just really is no excuse for it. I was heartened to see that she made some recognition of this with the statement that she made over the weekend. I think that is a good start, but clearly, we need to go further than that.”

Why more US teens are suffering from severe anxiety than ever before — and how parents can help

Nearly one-third of American adolescents and adults are affected by anxiety, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It’s the most common mental health disorder in the country.

» RELATED: What is anxiety and how can you overcome it?

And when it comes to teens, severe anxiety is becoming more crippling each year.

In fact, over the last decade, anxiety has surpassed depression as the most common reason college students seek counseling services, the New York Times reported.

» RELATED: Anxiety and depression do not define who we are

The data comes from the American College Health Association’s 2016 survey of students about the previous year.

Sixty-two percent of undergraduate students in the survey reported “overwhelming anxiety,” a significant increase from 50 percent in 2011.

A separate survey from the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, asks incoming college freshmen whether they “felt overwhelmed by all I had to do” during the previous year.

>> Read more trending news

In 1985, when the institute began surveying students on the issue, 18 percent said they felt overwhelmed.

By 2010, 29 percent said they did. And in 2016, the number jumped to 41 percent.

And since 2012, the Washington Post reported, the Boys Town National Hotline has seen a 12 percent spike in teens reaching out via calls, texts, chats and emails about their struggles with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.

» RELATED: Teens and the distorted reality of social media

The rate of hospital admissions for suicidal teenagers has also doubled over the past decade.

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mirrored a national trend in suicide rates across the board.

» RELATED: The suicide rate for teen girls is the highest it’s been in 40 years — Is social media to blame?

But the research found suicide rates among 15- to 19-year-old girls doubled between 2007 and 2015, reaching a 40-year high.

That means for every 100,000 American girls in 2015, five committed suicide.

For teen boys, the rate rose by more than 30 percent.

» RELATED: ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ shows how adults can mess up teen angst

What’s causing the rise in teenagers with severe anxiety?

Anxiety, along with depression, cuts across all demographics, including both privileged and disadvantaged teenagers.

But privileged teens are among the most emotionally distressed youth in America, Arizona State University psychology professor Suniya Luthar told the New York Times.

» RELATED: How to keep your kids safe on social media 

“These kids are incredibly anxious and perfectionistic,” she said, but there’s “contempt and scorn for the idea that kids who have it all might be hurting ... there’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college. Kids have a sense that they’re not measuring up. The pressure is relentless and getting worse.”

But helicopter parents aren’t always to blame. Many students internalize the anxiety and put the pressure on themselves, Madeline Levine, co-founder of Challenge Success, a nonprofit aimed at improving student well-being, told the Times.

» RELATED: The more social media you use, the lonelier you feel, study says

Another expert, psychiatrist Stephanie Eken, said despite the cultural differences, there’s a lot of overlap among teens regarding what makes them anxious.

Eken mentions factors range from school, family conflicts, what food to eat, diseases, how they’re perceived by friends and notably in the last few years, Eken told the Times, to a rising fear about terrorism. 

“They wonder about whether it’s safe to go to a movie theater,” she said.

A lack of close, meaningful relationships is also a major factor.

» RELATED: Should kids be watching new Netflix series on teen suicide? 

Experts have long said hormonal, mental and physical changes associated with puberty may leave teens especially vulnerable to anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders.

And social media doesn’t help, Eken said, adding that teens are always comparing themselves with their peers, which leaves them miserable.

When Times reporter Benoit Denizet-Lewis visited Mountain Valley, a nonprofit that offers teens need-based assistance for $910 a day, a college student at the facility said, “I don’t think we realize how much it’s affecting our moods and personalities,” he said. “Social media is a tool, but it’s become this thing that we can’t live without but that’s making us crazy.”

» RELATED: This social media platform is the worst for cyberbullying 

But social media can also be used to “help increase connections between people,” CDC suicide expert Thomas Simon told CNN in August. “It's an opportunity to correct myths about suicide and to allow people to access prevention resources and materials.”

Still, Simon acknowledged that cyberbullying can greatly impact vulnerable youth.

More from experts at NYTimes.com.

How parents can help

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 80 percent of kids with a diagnosable anxiety disorder are not getting treatment. And anxiety disorders are highly treatable.

While anxiety can be a normal reaction to stressful environments and situations, there are specific symptoms associated with anxiety disorders.

Generally, someone with anxiety disorder would have fear or anxiety that is out of proportion to the situation or inappropriate for his or her age.

The anxiety would also affect normal day-to-day function.

Two questions parents should ask themselves: Is my child more shy or anxious than others his or her age? Is my child more worried than other children his or her age?

» RELATED: Nighttime cellphone usage linked to poor mental health among teens

According to Lynn Miller, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia, those questions can help predict a child’s potential of developing an anxiety disorder.

If you notice overwhelming feelings of anxiety in your child, the ADAA suggests seeking help and talking to a professional.

While antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can offer relief from symptoms, they’re not treated as cures. Instead, talk therapy is often recommended.

More tips from ADAA.org.

Georgia Rep. Betty Price suggests ‘quarantine’ for HIV patients

Georgia Rep. Betty Price, R-Roswell, in a study committee this week, asked if the government could “quarantine” people with HIV.

>> Read more trending news 

Price is married to Tom Price, who recently resigned as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Her comments came in a discussion of the spread of HIV and disparities in care within the state. The committee is dedicated to examining and addressing barriers to access to healthcare in Georgia.

“And I don’t want to say the quarantine word, but I guess I just said it,” Price said. “Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition. So we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. What would you advise, or are there any methods legally that we could do that would curtail the spread?”

According to an official biography, Price was conferred her Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) at McGill University in Montreal. 

“She worked for over 20 years in the medical field practicing Anesthesiology in Roswell and Marietta (Georgia),” the biography reads. “She served on the Boards of the Medical Association of Atlanta and the Medical Association of Georgia and is a past president of the American Medical Women’s Association in Atlanta.” 

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Price’s statements were first reported by Project Q Atlanta.

Woman made up story about doctors leaving camera inside her after surgery, hospital says

Earlier this year, a patient at an Atlanta hospital filed a lawsuit claiming that a surgeon left a camera in her body during transplant surgery, a camera that was discovered six months later.

Lacrystal Lockett’s lawyers have now dropped the complaint.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Doctors left camera in woman's body after surgery, lawsuit claims

Emory Hospital attorney Anna Fretwell pointed out an apparent problem with the story: No cameras are used in such surgeries.

“No evidence to substantiate the plaintiff’s claims — medical records, photographs, the alleged camera itself, eyewitness testimony, or any other evidence — ever was produced,” Fretwell said in an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Instead, the plaintiff and her lawyers admitted that Emory never left a camera in her body or had to remove one and then dropped the lawsuit.”

>> Read more trending news

Caleb Avraham, who worked with fellow attorney Michael Jo’el Smith for Lockett, didn’t go so far as to say the claim was false.

“I am not Ms. Lockett, so I can’t get into the mind of Ms. Lockett,” he told the AJC. “I know she believes her story. That’s as much as I can say.” 

Attempts to reach Lockett have been unsuccessful.

>> On AJC.com: Doctor, friend die from cocaine laced with fentanyl

Lockett went into surgery on Dec. 17, 2014, for a kidney and pancreatic transplant, according to the suit. Dr. Paul Lu Tso, assisted by doctors Ronald Parsons and Denise J. Lo, performed the procedure.

Lockett’s suit claimed a camera turned up in her torso the following June during an exam at the hospital and required another surgery to remove it.

>> On AJC.com: NFL player protests during anthem and gives critics a tip

Avraham said by the time Lockett came to him and Smith, the statute of limitations was almost up. They had what they believed to be “credible information” — he declined to elaborate — that Lockett’s story was true.

He said they decided to file suit and get more information from the discovery process, as lawyers do in the “pursuit of the truth.”

>> On AJC.com: Many questions after man dies and no one notices

Through discovery and their own investigation, the lawyers decided they didn’t have enough evidence to pursue the case, Avraham said.

Lockett had been asking for a jury to decide what she was owed for the alleged negligence.

5 signs you should ask your doctor about depression

A common perception of someone suffering from depression is a person who's sad and/or crying. Although you certainly may feel this way if you're depressed, the illness may also present itself in more subtle ways that you might not expect.

>> Read more trending news 

Depression is a very common illness, with about 16 million adults in the U.S. having at least one major episode of depression in the past year. Despite there being many different types of treatment available, about two-thirds of people with major depression never seek treatment

Sometimes they think they'll "snap out of it" on their own or they may be too embarrassed to address the condition. But delaying treatment could have devastating effects in every area of your life, and at its worst, could result in suicide.

RELATED: Woman breaks for mental health days; boss' reply goes viral

The following five signs are solid indicators that it could be time to talk to your doctor about depression. 

Your mind seems foggy

If you have trouble concentrating or making decisions on an almost-daily basis, Health's website says, this could be a sign of depression. It can cause fuzzy, unfocused thinking that can affect your memory and ability to make good decisions. This could make you forget work deadlines as well as tasks you need to complete at home. At its most extreme, it could even lead you to engage in unhealthy, risky behavior.

You tend to get angry

Although most people probably associate depression with sadness, it can also cause you to feel irritated or angry over things that you would normally shrug off. If you find yourself raging at little things at work and home, you may actually be depressed. This can be especially true of men, Reader's Digest says, who may find it more socially acceptable to express anger rather than sadness when they go through something such as divorce.

You have unexplained pain

The Mayo Clinic says that unexplained pain such as back pain or headaches can sometimes be the first or only sign of depression. In fact, pain and depression can create a vicious cycle. If your depression is causing pain, this can make you further depressed, which increases your pain. In addition, depression-related pain that continues over time can create additional problems such as stress, low self-esteem and difficulty sleeping. Some forms of treatment can help with both pain and depression, while others treat only one condition, so you and your doctor can talk about what's best in your particular case.

Your eating habits have changed

Depression can affect many aspects of your life, including your eating habits. Health says you may experience a loss of appetite as well as a decreased interest in food and cooking. It can also have the opposite effect, making you more likely to try to soothe yourself by binge eating on unhealthy food. In addition, if you normally eat a healthy diet, but find yourself suddenly turning to junk food, you may want to talk to your doctor about depression.

You sleep too much -- or too little

Crawling into bed and escaping into sleep is behavior that may be associated with depression, according to Health. You may find yourself wanting to stay in bed and also escaping into naps when you can during the day. Depression can also cause you to stay awake late at night as you toss, turn and worry. And like many symptoms of depression, sleeping too much or too little can create a vicious cycle. You can feel tired and sluggish from too much sleep, so you may feel even worse, which can make you likely to sleep more or have more trouble getting to sleep at night.

RELATED: Here’s what happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep

Getting help

The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) recommends the following tips for getting help:

  • Call 911, go to your local emergency room, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 if you're feeling suicidal.
  • If you think your condition is mild to moderate, make an appointment with your primary care physician.
  • If you think your condition is moderate to severe, make an appointment with a specialized doctor such as a psychiatrist.
  • Seek out community support groups, which can serve as valuable tools for help and to know you're not alone in suffering from depression. NAMI can help you find support in your area.

Woman who got tattoo on eyeball could lose eyesight, warns others

WARNING: Graphic photos below

A Canadian woman who got a tattoo on her eyeball may end up partially blind from the procedure, and now, she has a warning to others considering the idea.

>> Read more trending news 

On Sept. 5, Catt Gallinger, 24, got a scleral tattoo -- which means that she had ink injected into the white section of her eyeball. 

Gallinger, who has a number of tattoos and a forked tongue, said the person who tattooed her was unqualified but convinced her to get the eyeball tattoo, which quickly became infected.

“I have a lot of friends who have had it done and it worked for them,” she told Global News. “I’m not jumping on the bandwagon or anything, but body modification is part of my life. I had been thinking about doing it for a while.”

On the day she got the tattoo, the purple ink ran out of her eye down the side of her face, and the next day, her eye was swollen shut, WGN reported.

“During the first two weeks, he kept telling me it was fine, but I had a feeling that it wasn’t normal,” Gallinger told Global News. “Everyone I know who had this done healed within a week. I reached out to other artists around the world and they agreed on what he had done wrong, and made me aware of how high-risk my situation was.”

Gallinger took to Facebook to warn others of the procedure, saying, “Please be cautious who you get your (modifications) from and do your research.” 

According to Gallinger, who claimed her aftercare was “good,” the infection was caused by ink that was not diluted with saline, use of too much ink, use of a needle that was too big and the needle going too deep into her eye.

Gallinger has been to the hospital three times in hopes of getting the infection cleared up.

After rushing to the hospital, she was prescribed antibiotic eye drops for about a week, but things worsened and her eye had swollen completely shut. Apparently, the medicine spread the infection, causing a clump around her cornea, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Now she has to get surgery, and the tattoo certainly won’t end up like she hoped. She told CTV that the ink will either go away completely or “stay a blurry mess.” Doctors say if the ink reaches the retina, it will cause nerve damage, which may prompt them to remove her eye.

Ophthalmologists have warned against the procedure, with some saying the only way to completely stop the pain is to remove the eyeball. Gallinger may be able to keep her eye, but the experience has left her shaken.

“I took my eyesight for granted and trusted someone I shouldn’t have,” she said in a video posted Monday. “And even if this heals, my eyesight is not going to be back.”

Gallinger plans to press charges of criminal negligence.

Read more at Global News and CTV.

WARNING: Graphic photos below

Scroll down for images.

Want to save thousands of dollars? Lose weight, study says

Weight loss has its share of benefits — lower risk of heart disease or diabetes, better-fitting clothing and boosted energy, to name a few.

>> Read more trending news

But, according to new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, if you’re either obese or overweight, shedding those pounds could save you upwards of $30,000 in your lifetime.

The findings, published Tuesday in the journal Obesity claim 20-, 40- and 50-year-olds would save significant dollars in direct medical costs and productivity losses over their lifetime if they go from obese to overweight or from obese to a healthy weight.

Related: Want to lose more weight? Ditch your diet for a couple of weeks, study suggests

Using previous knowledge that people with a high body mass index (BMI) are more prone to conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer -- all conditions with steep price tags -- the researchers created a computational simulation of the U.S. adult population.

The simulation examined adults at various ages, weights and health statuses, and then calculated estimated direct medical costs, productivity losses (including sick time).

Here’s how much money you could save by losing weight:

Age 20

Obese to overweight: $17,655

Obese to healthy weight: $28,020

Age 40

Obese to overweight: $18,262

Obese to healthy weight: $31,447

Age 50, cost savings peak

Average total savings: $36,278

Though researchers found that cost savings peaked at age 50 and decreased with older ages, they noted that older adults who lose weight can still save money.

In the U.S., more than 70 percent of adults are considered to be overweight or obese. That costs the country nearly $210 billion each year, study authors wrote.

Related: These 9 healthy-sounding foods have more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut 

“Over half the costs of being overweight can be from productivity losses, mainly due to missed work days. This means that just focusing on medical costs misses a big part of the picture, though they're a consideration, too,” Bruce Y. Lee, executive director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center at the Bloomberg School, said in a news release. “Productivity losses affect businesses, which in turn affects the economy, which then affects everyone.”

Read the full study and its methodology at onlinelibrary.wiley.com.

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