Heroin syringe
Thomas Martinsen / Flickr/Creative Commons

"A heroin high .. I ain't going to lie - it's amazing .. you feel like you're Superwoman." 

Wonder why it's hard for some to leave heroin behind? Listen to Jennifer Harris and Brandi Martinez. Both live in High Point, N.C. and both have been clean for two years. (Jennifer talks first.)

Ebola Sign
Leoneda Inge

The first diagnosed Ebola case in the United States and the first death, has raised awareness of the deadly disease from California to the Carolinas.

Hospitals and health professionals are especially on alert.  The state Department of Health and Human Services has been working closely with health care providers since the summer, to prepare for the possibility of an Ebola patient being diagnosed here.

A picture of an elderly person's hand with an I.V. tube taped to it.
Tim Samoff / Flickr

Two Triangle hospitals will lose a portion of their Medicare reimbursements this year. They're being penalized for re-admitting too many patients within a month of hospitalization.

Under the Affordable Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reduce payments to hospitals which re-admit a higher number of patients than they're supposed to. They're looking at data between the summers of 2010 to 2013. Based on the number re-admissions, the CMS determines what percentage of Medicare reimbursement to withhold.

One addict talked about scoring methadone regularly at a Bible study.
Savio Sebastian / Flickr/Creative Commons

This is the third in a three-part series about the problem of heroin in North Carolina.  (Parts one and two are below.)

Heroin in NC Part Three: Bible Study

North Carolina is not immune to the nation's growing heroin problem. The number of overdose deaths in the state has quadrupled in just a few years. More people are seeking treatment.  In our final installment of the series, Jeff Tiberii reports on efforts to re-open a shuttered clinic in High Point.

Wake County commissioners heard from health officials today on the county's readiness should an Ebola case be diagnosed here.  The leaders cited several calls of concern they've received from residents after the disease was discovered in a hospital patient in Texas. 

Wake County health experts say they are working with hospitals, universities and airport authorities to ensure the earliest warnings are given should a case appear in North Carolina.  

Brent Myers is the medical director for Wake County EMS.  He says the county's efforts are being replicated across the state.

First responders in Guilford County have administered hundreds of doses of Naloxone, or NARCAN, this year. Heroin overdoses and deaths are on the rise.
Jeff Tiberii

A new government study says deaths from heroin overdose in the United States doubled between 2010 and 2012. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data from 28 states. That upward trend is also taking place in North Carolina, where heroin deaths climbed from 38 to 183 between 2010 and 2013; representing an increase of 480%.  In response, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 20 last year.

Photo of Dr. Jeffrey Brantley

Everyone gets mad sometimes, but learning to control anger is a challenge for many people. 

A map of North Carolina Infant Mortality Rates 2009-2013

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported Tuesday that infant mortality is at its lowest level in state history.

For the past two years, infant mortality rates had risen -- going from 7.0 per 1000 live births in 2010 to 7.4 in 2012. But last year, the numbers shot back down, returning to 2010 levels, the lowest in history.

A picture of cleaning chemicals.
Collin Anderson / Flickr

The Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a chemical safety data summit in Research Triangle Park today and tomorrow. 

Unless a chemical is being used as a food additive, a drug, a pesticide or one of a few other specialized uses, EPA officials say there's not a significant amount of testing required. 

Russell Thomas is a director at the EPA.  He said there are hundreds of new chemicals introduced into the environment each year.

Today, the World Health Organization reported more than 2,900 people have died from Ebola in Western Africa. Amidst the growing epidemic, Nigeria has managed to escape much of the havoc.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous country by far, with more than 170 million people. Yet there have been only 20 confirmed cases and eight confirmed deaths from Ebola since July.   How has the country escaped widespread infection?