The Dope On Cannabis: Five Things To Know

Is marijuana a harmless way to relax or a dangerous gateway drug? The science says “No” and “We don’t know,” respectively. Arguments for and against legalization often misrepresent the medical effects of cannabis, some experts say. Several bills proposed in the 2017 session of the General Assembly would make recreational use of marijuana legal in Connecticut. Medical marijuana use for conditions ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to cancer has been legal in the state since 2012, though dispensaries did not open until 2014.

Six Things To Know About Ticks And Lyme Disease

This year 97 percent of blacklegged ticks, commonly known as deer ticks, survived the Connecticut winter and are hungry for blood as temperatures warm. These arachnids transmit bacteria that cause Lyme disease and are likely thriving in your backyard, according to Connecticut Chief Entomologist Kirby Stafford. About 3,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported in the state each year, the state Department of Public Health reports, but Stafford says that most cases aren’t reported. The true number is closer to 35,000, he estimates. “Under-reporting is more likely to occur in highly endemic [widespread] areas, whereas over-reporting is more likely to occur in non-endemic areas,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Home Care Challenge: Retaining Workers, Keeping Costs Low

Debbie Hardy, a home health care aide, is the reason that Frank Geraldino, 48, a paraplegic, is able to live in his Seymour apartment – rather than in a nursing facility. Hardy, of Ansonia, is an independent worker providing in-home personal care services, such as bathing and feeding, for people with serious disability. Medicaid covers the bill, but the patients are technically the employers, hiring and scheduling their own in-home care. More than 6,000 personal care workers are listed on various registries as providing in-home care services.   The lists include home health aides, who are trained and licensed as certified nursing assistants, and personal care assistants, who are not licensed.

As AIDS Funds Shrink, Emphasis Shifts To Testing

Connecticut is using a shrinking pool of federal funding for HIV/AIDS prevention to focus on getting more people into treatment, particularly men whose sexual activity puts them at risk. New HIV/AIDS cases are falling in Connecticut, especially among injection drug users, but men who have sex with men make up a growing proportion of diagnoses in the state.  They are also the largest group affected by HIV nationally. Getting these men tested and into treatment is key, as medication now drastically reduces the risk of infected people passing on the virus. AIDS workers say that “men who have sex with men’’ includes gay and bisexual men and men who identify themselves as heterosexual, despite having sexual relations with other men.