The Pulse – October 31, 2014

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    Easy access to prescription pain pills has led millions of adults to addiction over the past two decades. Opioid addiction has hit the Northeast particularly hard in recent years, which has many wondering what’s around for treatment. Suboxone has emerged as a favorite drug in the war against addiction, but in rural areas in the Northeast, it can be hard to find a doctor to prescribe it. Reporter Carolyn Beeler has the story of a man struggling to find treatment, and an entrepreneurial medical school student trying to make access easier.

    Healthcare providers are moving quickly to get staff up to speed and trained on dealing with ebola. With fears about spreading the virus moving even faster, Camden County in New Jersey recently gathered first responders for a training session. The Pulse’s Taunya English joined the EMS workers, firefighters and police for a lesson in life-saving.

    Just six short seconds after lift-off on Tuesday, the Orbital Sciences Antares rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded in dramatic fashion. Nobody was injured, but the incident could be perceived as fodder for anyone skeptical of the commercialization of space travel. Former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao is not one of them. He thinks for-profit space travel is the way of the future.

    Last year, prescription drug sales in the U.S. totaled well over $300 billion. Medications are pricey—especially newer drugs, which often come with huge price tags—but these days consumers can cut down drug prices with the help of coupons. Yep, just like the ones you use in the supermarket. But who is really picking up the tab? Pulse host Maiken Scott does some digging.

    Starbucks serves a coffee beverage sure to elicit equal parts cheers and derision. The Pumpkin Spice Latte is a seasonal favorite—with more than 200 million sold since the drink’s launch in 2003—but, as reporter Todd Bookman found out, there’s some controversy brewing over the safety of its ingredients.

    Trick or treat…It’s candy time! On Halloween parents everywhere will pull the most passive-aggressive move in child-rearing—first, allowing their children to collect a gigantic bag of candy, and then immediately restricting access to the loot. But if asked why candy is so bad, what would parents say? Reporter Gray Tennis investigates.

    Also on this week’s show: in honor of Halloween we watch flesh-eating beetles make a contribution to science, we take our turn at creating some extra creepy tunes on the ancient and inimitable theremin, and we hear a ghost story a century in the making.

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