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Feds crack down on prescription drug trafficking

Feds crack down on prescription drug trafficking

ATLANTA -- A federal grand jury in Atlanta has charged a total of 13 defendants from two states with illegally trafficking in oxycodone and other prescription drugs.

The two cases arise out of intensified efforts to address Georgia's growing problem with prescription drug abuse.

"Prescription drug abuse is our nation's fastest-growing segment of illegal drug use, causing significantly more overdose deaths than cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin combined," said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

In the first incident, 11 Georgia residents were charged with conspiring to forge oxycodone prescriptions and sell the illegally obtained tablets.

DEA applauds huge turnout on Drug Take-Back Day

DEA applauds huge turnout on Drug Take-Back Day

ATLANTA -- Americans participating in the United States Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) second National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event last weekend turned in more than 376,593 pounds of unwanted or expired medications.

This is 55 percent more than the 242,000 pounds the public brought in during last September's event.

The medications were taken to 5,361 take-back sites in all 50 states.

"The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the first two take-back events is simply staggering -- 309 tons -- and represents a clear need for a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs," said DEA administrator Michele M. Leonhart.

Protect yourself against mosquitoes, ticks

Protect yourself against mosquitoes, ticks

ATLANTA -- The state's first 2011 case of West Nile Virus (WNV) has been confirmed in a horse in Southeast Georgia.

Now, the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) recommends that all Georgians protect themselves from mosquitoes and remove any standing water from their property.

"While this is a non-human case, we recognize that the mosquito and tick season is starting earlier than in previous years," said Dr. Anil T. Mangla, program director of infectious disease & immunization and acting state epidemiologist for the DCH.

Join 11Alive's Christine Pullara and march for healthy babies

Join 11Alive's Christine Pullara and march for healthy babies

ATLANTA -- More than 400 babies are born too soon every week in Georgia.

These babies' lungs, brains and other organs may not be fully developed. As a result, thousands of them do not live long enough to see their first birthdays.

On Saturday, Apr. 30, a legion of families and business leaders in Metro Atlanta and across Georgia will join together for the annual March of Dimes March for Babies, the nation's oldest walk fundraiser dedicated to preventing premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality.

"Every step we take, every dollar raised brings us closer to a day when every family will know the joy of a healthy baby," said Courtney Lewis, VP of global assurance services at AT&T and downtown March for Babies chair.

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Community Hospice opens Marietta office

Community Hospice opens Marietta office

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Community Hospice, a division of Community Home Care and Hospice, has opened a new office in Marietta.

The office will serve patients across Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette and Gwinnett Counties.

Community Hospice of Marietta's mission is to provide the best possible care to patients facing life-threatening illnesses. Care will be delivered by a qualified team of doctors, professional nurses, social workers, clergy and volunteers.

"We are excited about expanding our service area to include the state of Georgia," said Sandy Roberson, president and CEO of Community Home Care and Hospice.

Transplant recipients celebrate gift of life

Transplant recipients celebrate gift of life

ROSWELL, Ga. -- Pamela Locke and John Bafford are grateful for every day.

They both received lifesaving transplants, and now they are throwing a "birthday" party to celebrate their new lives and raise money for their ongoing medical expenses.

The second annual Party for a Cause will be held on Thursday, Apr. 14 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Founders Hall (1076 Canton Street, Roswell, 30075).

Locke, 47, of Marietta was diagnosed with renal failure in 2003 and began dialysis treatments three days a week. She waited 19 months before receiving a transplant in 2006.

Unfortunately, Locke's health battles returned in 2009, when doctors told her that she needed a second transplant. Thus began her quest to find a living kidney donor.

Cindy Comstock, Locke's childhood friend, heard about her search and mentioned it to another friend, Laurie Collins.