Philadelphia takes bold step toward opening drug injection sites

(CNN)Philadelphia is welcoming private organizations to set up medically supervised drug injection sites amid an unprecedented rise in overdose deaths in recent years, city officials announced Tuesday.

The walk-in facilities would also offer access to sterile needles, the opioid overdose-reversing drug naloxone, wound care and referral to social services.
There are currently no legally sanctioned supervised injection sites in the United States.
“Incidents of overdose have steadily increased to an alarming degree,” Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement Tuesday, describing the city’s move as a “bold action to help save lives.”
In 2016, the city recorded 907 overdose deaths, more than 80% of which involved opioids like heroin and fentanyl, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. This number is double what it was in 2013.
That same year, the state of Pennsylvania had the third highest number of drug overdose deaths in the country, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In December, health experts in Philadelphia released a review of the scientific evidence behind supervised injection sites that underlines their efficacy in preventing deaths and infections, such as HIV and hepatitis C. Up to 76 overdose deaths per year could be prevented with one site in Philadelphia, the report concludes, based in part on a 2008 study of North America’s first supervised injection site, in Vancouver.
Canada’s health department now lists more than two dozen approved sites for supervised injection on their website.
The city of Seattle, Washington is also planning to open and manage a supervised injection site, according to a report by Philadelphia officials. In contrast, Philadelphia is looking to private organizations to fund, operate and provide a location for these facilities. San Francisco and New York are also considering supervised sites.
In November, a delegation of Philadelphia officials visited both Vancouver and Seattle. The trip “really hit home” that an injection site would be “just one piece of the puzzle to address the opioid crisis,” said Eva Gladstein, Philadelphia’s deputy managing director of Health and Human Services.
Supervised injection sites have faced opposition in the past. Some believe that they implicitly condone drug use and lead to increased use.
“There is no safe way to inject heroin, fentanyl and carfentanyl,” Pennsylvania’s attorney general, Josh Shapiro, said in a statement Tuesday in response to the city’s announcement.

See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

“Sanctioning a ‘safe injection site’ presents significant public safety concerns, and changes in state and federal law would need to occur for these sites to operate legally,” Shapiro said.
In support of the harm-reduction strategy, Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner, said in a statement, “We cannot just watch as our children, our parents, our brothers, and our sisters die of drug overdose.”
“We have to use every proven tool we can to save their lives until they recover from the grip of addiction,” he said.

Read more:

This Man Left His Dog Outside Dunkin’ Donuts With A Heartbreaking Note On Her Collar

Facebook / Santa Fe Police Public Information Officer (PIO)

The note reads, “I’m free I’m having babies.”

He then walked into the establishment without the dog and ordered a cup of coffee.

Facebook / Santa Fe Police Public Information Officer (PIO)

Now this sweet girl is at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society, where despite her treatment, workers say she’s very social and loves people. They aren’t yet sure whether she’s actually pregnant. They say it’s too early to tell.

Read more:

Sex is Not Sexy

I think it was my second year at Bible college when I first had this mini-revelation.

Like most young red-blooded Americans (especially of the virgin persuasion), I had this notion that marriage and sex would assuage all feelings of emptiness and quell all my upset desires. I looked forward to finding and marrying that one person who, once found, would satisfy me once and for all. As I’ve written about before, I have awoken from this misguided belief and cultivated more realistic expectations.

I specifically remember where I was this one night in college, though, when the seeds of this realization first took root. I had grabbed a couch from the sidewalk in Chicago and used it as my bed for an entire school year. At the time, I was reading Sarah F. Winner’s book Real Sex, which argues for a holistic and healthy view of sex and chastity, so the topic was heavy on my mind. I was grappling with this question of whether or not to continue pursuing a girl who was in my life at the time, and there on that tattered couch-bed, it hit me.

Sex will not satisfy me once and for all.

This ethereal entity which seemed like a haven of ecstasy and satisfaction would leave me no more permanently satisfied than a good meal fills up my stomach once and for all.

Give it enough time and the well runs dry again.

This thing which, since middle school, had seemed like the finish line to the human race would not satisfy me once and for all. I specifically remember the scene playing out in my imagination. I imagined myself married to a woman, regardless of how beautiful and (ahem) sexy, once the act was over, I would be in the same place I was in reality: Just trying to fall asleep, get a good night’s sleep, and go on with life.

The act of sex would not permanently fill the elusive voids within my soul. After the act, physically speaking of course, I’d be content for a while but life would continue madly on, and the urge would return again. I realized it is not a permanent fix-all for whatever ails the insides of me.

You could say I realized that sex is not sexy.

I mean, what sort of terms come to mind when we think of the word sexy? Isn’t it some sort of glamorous, polished, and unrealistic ideal which is constantly sought after but never actually grasped?

Sexy is arousing.

Sexy smells nice and doesn’t have morning breath or hangnails.

Sexy is airbrushed and may or may not have had some plastic work done.

But then I stir from this fantasy long enough to look around and tame my wild expectations. I look at those elderly couples who have weathered 50+ years together and are anything but sexy. Yet there is something which keeps them together all those years. There is something deeper and more attractive which draws him to her and vice versa for all those decades. In their essence, ‘sexiness’ and pornography depend on novelty. There are always new people and new bodies and new, flashy ways to turn someone on. Intimacy, however, is the opposite. It depends on getting to know the same person over a long time.

I remember something an older mentor told me a few years ago which has stuck with me, which I turned into a poem (read the full thing here):

he said,
“sure sex is great
and a good body is exciting at first,
but eventually,
it’s just good to be naked,
it’s nice to be naked with the same old person.”

Of course, this nudity runs far deeper than a physical lack of clothes. It’s a raw, performance-less sort of nakedness. Unlike Adam and Eve who realized they were naked and ran and hid, this sort of intimacy reveals itself to another in a beautiful and unabashed way.

Real sex is not a one-and-done sort of event, but an ongoing, dare I say, boring and mundane practice between a husband and wife. If we single people go into marriage expecting a cinematic (read: pornographic) experience every time we come to the marital bed with our beloved, we will be sorely disappointed. This is why thousands of married men and women still struggle with pornography after the wedding night. Because sex is not a cure-all for all of our desires and fantasies. No one person can satisfy all of our deep longings, as they have been programmed by media and magazine covers.

No, real sex is not sexy. It is intimate and longsuffering. It is selfless and other-focused in nature. It is not the object of marriage, but a reflection of the intimacy which should already exist between the two spouses.

Think of it like communion: At the table, we take into ourselves the bread and wine; the body and the blood of Jesus Christ. It is a physical representation of a spiritual reality. It is a shadow which points to something beyond itself. The bread and wine are not special in and of themselves, but they are important because of what they point to.

Sex, similarly, is the physical coming together of two people who have already united themselves to the other socially, financially, emotionally, and spiritually.

It’s a visible symbol of an invisible reality.

Nowhere are we promised that the sex itself will satisfy us. In fact, if we expect sex alone to fulfill us without the fullness of the relationship being present, it will be hollow and lifeless and we will walk away empty. But when sex follows all the other areas of an intimate relationship, consummated in marriage (the covenant is the consummation), it is life giving and fruitful (literally).

And when we think of it that way, we must remember: Sex is not sexy.

It is real and it is ongoing. It happens amidst the vacuuming and the errands. It is not always made-up and gorgeous, and occasionally gets sick and vomits. The question is, are we going to commit to this person who will have very un-sexy days (increasingly so as the years roll on), or are we going to keep holding out for some sexy fantasy which will never materialize?

This year, I want to attempt to unprogram my mind from what our culture has taught us is “sexy” and reclaim a more holistic and realistic ideal of sex. I want to return it to its proper place in my mind, undoing years of being formed in the image of our pornified culture, and embracing a view which is sustainable, healthy, and quite frankly, un-sexy.

So are you with me? Are you ready to help reform our culture in favor of real sex rather than the plastic version we are bombarded with daily? It won’t be easy (or pretty) and will take a lot of rewiring our brains to think according to reality rather than Insta-glamour. Let’s be people with eyes who can see truly and not be deceived by what media tells us is ‘sexy.’

Read more:

Report: Top Law Enforcement Officials Meet House Speaker On Trump-Russia Probe

WASHINGTON, Jan 3 (Reuters) – Two top law enforcement officials met U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday to discuss demands by congressional supporters of President Donald Trump that the Justice Department hand over files relevant to investigations of possible Trump 2016 campaign ties to Russia, a source familiar with the meeting said.

FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met with Ryan, a Ryan spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, said, declining to comment on the subject of the meeting.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

Reuters reported in September that the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee had issued subpoenas to Wray and Rosenstein demanding that they surrender their agencies files on former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, his “dossier” on suspected Trump team contacts with Russia and inquiries being made by the FBI and the Justice Department into the dossier’s contents.

Officials said at the time that the agencies were reluctant to comply with the subpoenas, backed by House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a Trump supporter, because the FBI was conducting its own probe. That investigation is supervised by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into U.S. allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election campaign to tilt the election in Trump’s favor.

Moscow has denied any effort to influence the election and Trump denies any campaign collusion. Trump supporters have said that the “dossier” and other allegations of Trump involvement with Russia are smears concocted by Trump’s political enemies.

In December, news outlets reported that Nunes would ask his committee to vote to hold the Justice Department and FBI in contempt of Congress if they did not turn over the material sought by the committee. It is unclear whether such a vote has already been taken.

A spokesman for Nunes did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Mark Hosenball and Patricia Zengerle; editing by Grant McCool)

Read more:

Gorgeous Indian Model Puts Beautiful New Twist On Classic Disney Princesses

Countless little girls idolize Disney princesses, but as the majority of these characters are either white or Westernized, children from different cultures can’t always identify with them.

Lack of representation was something Hamel Patel was familiar with as a child. The North Carolina-based model and makeup artist is proud of her Indian heritage, and would have loved to see more of it on the big screen. “Growing up I always wished there was a Disney Princess I could relate to, one that represented where I came from. So I came up with this idea many months ago,” she wrote. Back in November, Patel began putting her own cultural twists on the classic princesses, recreating their looks with traditional Indian clothing and makeup. Check out all the photos in her stunning series below.



Snow White

Personally, I find many of these much more beautiful than the originals. Which look was your favorite? Be sure to follow more of Patel’s work on Instagram

Read more:

‘Bomb cyclone’ to slam East Coast as winter storm continues to bombard US

A “bomb cyclone” is set to dump snow and ice Wednesday across parts of the East Coast that rarely see winter weather, the latest bombardment of frigid weather that’s brought freezing temperatures to vast portions of the United States.

The National Weather Service said Wednesday a mix of snow and freezing rain was expected to move across along the East Coast from Florida to North Carolina before rapidly strengthening at sea.

The weather service warned a so-called “bomb cyclone” will bring “blizzard conditions” across portions of eastern New England late Thursday.

“This winter storm is forecast to bring the potential for a mix of freezing rain/sleet/snow from portions of northern Florida to North Carolina, and snowfall northward along portions of the Mid-Atlantic into northern New England,” the NWS said in an advisory.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, bombogenesis or bomb cyclone “occurs when a midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours. A millibar measures atmospheric pressure.”


“This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters. The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which creates what is known as a bomb cyclone,” NOAA said.

Winter Storm Warnings stretch from Florida to New England.  (Fox News)

The NWS has issued a Winter Storm Warning for all of Southeast Georgia, Interstate 10 corridor in Northeast Florida, and portions of the North and South Carolina costs due to the possibility of ice and snow. The agency warned areas along coastal areas of New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic could see up to 6 inches of snow, while parts of New England may see over a foot.

“The storm will then have explosive strengthening over the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic, bringing hurricane-force winds and blizzard conditions for parts of coastal New England tomorrow,” Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said Wednesday.

Dean warned Wednesday on “FOX and friends” the storm is going to “almost going to be like a hurricane off shore” once it reaches the Northeast after bringing snow, sleet, and freezing rain across the Southeast.

Future radar shows the effects from the “bomb cyclone” as it approached the Northeast.  (Fox News)

“A mix of freezing rain, sleet then snow is making travel difficult if not impossible for areas stretching from north Florida to the coastal Carolinas and southeast Virginia,” she said.

In Brunswick, Georgia, on the Atlantic coast, law enforcement agencies reported freezing rain and ice on bridges early Wednesday in south Georgia as the storm revved up along the East Coast. Brunswick police reported on their official Twitter account that area bridges had begun to ice up.

The icy conditions also were hampering early morning travel in Florida, as authorities were forced to shut a stretch of Interstate 10 east of Tallahassee.

Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach urged residents to stay home and keep off the roads. The city, which has not seen measureable snowfall since 2010, is expected to get up to two inches of snow and sleet.

“The streets will be slick,” DeLoach said at a news conference Tuesday. “We could have some serious issues for folks who aren’t used to driving in this kind of weather.”

“The storm will then have explosive strengthening over the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic bringing hurricane-force winds and blizzard conditions for parts of coastal New England tomorrow.”

– Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency through Friday for 28 counties because of the bone-chilling weather.

Jan. 2, 2018: Plants near a fountain are covered in ice at the intersection of Broad and 9th Streets in Augusta, Ga.  (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP)

“The state has begun preparations for potential winter weather in the 28 counties, including sending all Georgia Department of Transportation brine trucks and 75 additional plows to impacted areas,” Deal said.

Several other parts of the U.S. were expected to experience dangerously cold temperatures as well.

Jan. 2, 2018: A coin operated binocular is covered with snow on Goat Island at Niagara Falls State Park in Niagara Falls, N.Y.  (James Neiss/The Niagara Gazette via AP)

The National Weather Service issued wind chill advisories and freeze warnings Tuesday covering a vast area from South Texas to Canada and from Montana through New England. After the storm exits the area, more bitter cold is expected to pour in for the weekend, according to Dean.

“Some areas could see over a foot of snow, and the exact track of this storm is still yet to be determined ,so people should be prepared for possible power outages and several inches of snow along with even cold air with windchills below zero heading into the weekend,” Dean said Wednesday. “This will be life-threatening if people are still without power.”

A forecast map showing temperatures expected by midnight on Sunday across the country.  (Fox News)

The cold weather has already been blamed for at least a dozen deaths as well as freezing a water tower in Iowa and halting ferry service in New York.

Jan. 2, 2018: Small patches of ice formed along the banks of the Hudson River near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J.  (AP)

Indianapolis saw temperatures reach a whopping low of -12 degrees, tying a record low set in 1887. Chicago-area wind chills were also expected to between -35 and -20 degrees.

Traveling in the ice and snow has also proven to be treacherous.

At least one person was killed in upstate New York in an accident involving dozens of vehicles on I-90 east, WIVB-TV reported. At least 11 others were hospitalized.

Plunging temperatures in Texas brought rare snow flurries as far south as Austin, and accidents racked up on icy roads across the state. The Abilene police chief said more than three dozen vehicle crashes were reported in 24 hours.

Officials in Michigan said dozens of cars piled up in crashes on Sunday, according to the Detroit News. Officials said there were no deaths reported in the crashes, but there were at least seven hospitalized.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @travfed

Read more:

Forget The Sugar High, Say Hello To The Sugar Coma

An experiment by a collaborative team of food scientists and psychologists suggests that the anecdotal “sugar coma” – a temporary loss of higher cognitive function from eating copious amounts of processed sweets – may be grounded in fact.

The findings, published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, could someday be added to the long list of reasons why refined sugar is bad for you.

To assess the impact of sugar on mental performance, researchers from the University of Otago, New Zealand, administered a suite of cognition tests on 49 volunteers, 20 minutes after they ingested one of three types of sugar: glucose, fructose, sucrose, or an artificial sweetener (sucralose) as a control.

Glucose and fructose are single-molecule sugars called monosaccharides, whereas sucrose, also known as table sugar, is a larger molecule composed of both glucose and fructose. The tests included three well-studied tasks known to employ the brain’s prefrontal cortex – the area associated with higher thought and problem solving.

The authors found that individual subjects scored significantly lower on the tests after they ingested a drink containing glucose or sucrose compared with when they received fructose or a placebo. The detrimental effects of these two sugars were heightened if the subject had consumed the beverage after a 10-hour fast.

“Our study suggests that the ‘sugar coma’ – with regards to glucose – is indeed a real phenomenon, where levels of attention seem to decline after consumption of glucose-containing sugar,” study author Mei Peng told PsyPost.

Although fructose and glucose are both absorbed straight into the bloodstream from the small intestine, brain cells primarily use glucose to meet their high-energy demand. The body must break down sucrose into monosaccharides and convert the fructose molecules into glucose, before the fuel can pass through the blood-brain barrier.

Despite the brain’s reliance on glucose, some recent data shows that rapid increases in blood levels can lead to cognitive deficits. People with diabetes, who experience a lifetime of unstable sugar levels, are known to have an elevated risk of dementia.

Fructose takes the longest of the three sugars evaluated to reach the brain. In this study, consuming a beverage with fructose led to similar results as those seen after the placebo drink, which contained zero sugar.

Though interesting, these findings are far from conclusive. For example, previous investigations have found that intake of glucose immediately prior to a test actually improved response time and memory in fasting adults. Additionally, the beverages used had differing caloric content, meaning the total energy levels were not standardized.

Future research assessing the short-term effects of different sugars on cognition is required before we know for certain whether a pre-exam diet of candy and soda is truly worth the litany of negative health consequences.

Read more: