As cartels turn to social media to push fentanyl, experts teach parents how to keep kids safe

GLENDALE – Opioid use, particularly the use of powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl, remains a pressing problem. As cartels do more to target young people on Snapchat and other social media, Arizona drug prevention groups are letting parents, kids and educators know what to look out for to stay safe.


‘We see value in you’: Arizona organization helps bridge gaps between foster kids and families

PHOENIX – An estimated 80% of the more than 400,000 children in foster care across the U.S. struggle with significant mental health issues. In Arizona, one nonprofit is working to help children persevere – by offering services for foster youth and parents alike.

Russ Funk, left, is director of community engagement for Aid to Adoption of Special Kids in Phoenix. Funk and his wife have been foster parents, and two of their four children are adopted and biracial. “They integrated into our home at a very early age, and so it was just a natural thing,” he said, adding that those experiences are what drove him to work with other foster families. (Photo courtesy of AASK)

First in the nation law requires tech companies to take steps to improve kids’ well-being

PHOENIX – Research shows that more young Americans are facing mental health struggles, and technology is partly to blame. A new California law requires tech companies to do more to protect the privacy and data of children online. The measure could pave the way for similar laws elsewhere.

Research shows that more young Americans are facing mental health struggles, and technology is partly to blame. A new California law requires tech companies to do more to protect the privacy and data of children online. The measure could pave the way for similar laws elsewhere. (Photo illustration by Alexia Faith/Cronkite News)

Symptoms of COVID ‘long haulers’ baffle doctors looking for treatment options

LOS ANGELES – With COVID-19 restrictions having faded away, doctors are seeing an influx of patients with long-term symptoms that are similar to the severe symptoms shown at the peak of the pandemic but are not as lethal. Doctors and other health care providers in Southern California are working with patients to correctly diagnose them and provide proper care to ease their suffering.


‘Visibility matters’: LGBTQ care coordinator aims to improve care for Phoenix-area veterans

PHOENIX – There are an estimated 1 million LGBTQ+ veterans in the U.S., many of whom are more likely to report chronic physical or mental health conditions. The Veterans Health Administration launched its LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator Program to address these disparities.

Ash Senter is the LGBTQ+ care coordinator at Phoenix’s Carl T. Hayden Veterans' Administration Medical Center. Senter, who is transgender and nonbinary, is a former Air Force reservist and a health psychologist who started as the Phoenix coordinator in January – and they’re excited about the changes they’ve seen. “Visibility matters,” Senter says. (Photo courtesy of Public Affairs Office/Phoenix VA)

Healing through culture: Increasing access to Native American practices to treat mental health

HOUCK – Traditional healing has always been a part of Indigenous culture, and it’s especially useful for treating mental health. But access often is limited. Arizona and other states are seeking authorization from the federal government to cover these services under Medicaid.

Wayne Wilson stands in a hogan at the Native American Baha’i Institute in Houck, Arizona, on Sept. 1, 2022. He is holding eagle feathers that he uses in traditional healing ceremonies. (Photo by Laura Bargfeld/Cronkite News)

Tucson woman arrested in abortion-rights protest during Supreme Court hearing

WASHINGTON - A Tucson woman was one of three people arrested Wednesday after they disrupted a Supreme Court hearing with a protest over the court's decision to reverse its 1973 ruling that had recognized a right to an abortion.


Yoga for addiction recovery and mental health expands among care providers

Within the past decade, behavioral and mental health providers have adopted yoga as a supplemental treatment tool for addiction recovery. With overdose deaths up by 30% in 2020, people are turning to less traditional methods, like practicing yoga, to get and stay clean.


‘Urgent crisis:’ School districts stockpile Narcan as fentanyl kills more students

LOS ANGELES – School districts are stocking up on drug overdose drug Narcan as fentanyl claims the lives of more students. Seven students have died in the LA school district alone. Downey Unified School District began training and planning for emergency administrative response to the Fentanyl crisis over the summer before the 2022-23 school year. Each of their schools has several dosages of Narcan and several faculty and staff members trained to administer doses in the case of a drug-related health emergency.


Prop 209 would limit medical debt collection; critics say it’s too broad

WASHINGTON - Backers of Proposition 209 say the ballot measure will protect Arizona residents from crushing medical debt when they're struggling keep a home and a job so they can pay their debts, but critics say the proposal is too broad and will reward the wrong people.


‘Fresh food, fresh start’: Tucson cafe doubles as training program for people with mental illness

TUCSON – Café 54 serves as an employment training program for people with mental health conditions. Trainees work as cashiers, cooks, dishwashers and servers. The goal is to help them gain new skills and land a permanent job in the workforce.


‘Would he be forgotten?’ How a niece’s crusade and military scientists led to ID of Korean War vet

TUCSON – More than seven decades after his death in the Korean War, an Army private from Douglas has finally been identified and laid to rest. Military scientists and the niece of Felix Yanez worked for years to put a name to this unknown soldier and bring him home.