The opioid crisis continues to impact communities across America. Now, scientists are focusing on just how opioids impact the brain. A growing understanding of what goes on in our heads could alter the way addiction is treated. The Eagles begin training camp today and officially kick off their quest to repeat as Super Bowl champions. There will be no shortage of obstacles in their way. Occupy ICE protesters attempted to make their way to Mayor Kenney's office on Wednesday, but they hit a roadblock. However, they didn't leave City Hall empty-handed.

Dr. Ellen Unterwald, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Research at Temple.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Dr. Ellen Unterwald, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Research at Temple.

As we form habits over time, the brain grows and adapts, making it hard for us to overcome little things like snacking when stressed or keeping your head down in meetings. The impact that drug use has on the brain can be particularly dramatic. The director of Temple's Center for Substance Abuse Research explained that these changes in the brain are actually ones we can see.

Research suggests that opioids can impact the human brain in multiple ways — both stimulating its pleasure center at the same time that it hurts its ability to reason. 

The opioid crisis has swept across Philadelphia, mainly impacting the city's Kensington section. With a growing understanding of how opioids interact with the human brain, there is hope that addiction treatment can be altered and improved.

It's time, fellow Eagles fans. Put the memories of that glorious Super Bowl win behind you because the defending champions open training camp today. Camp always kicks off with a ton of storylines, but none is more fascinating than the presence and recovery of Carson Wentz — especially as he shares the quarterback room with the reigning Super Bowl MVP and a new quarterbacks coach.

He'll also have company in the injury room. A significant amount of high-profile contributors have been nursing injuries this off-season. The Eagles' repeat hopes could hinge on their successful recoveries during camp.

Whether you have complete health or not, winning back-to-back titles is tough to do in the NFL. However, the oddsmakers in Atlantic City are showing the champs a lot of respect.

You can stay in the know throughout Eagles camp by subscribing to our Early Birds newsletter. It will be delivered three days per week throughout camp as my colleague Zach Berman shares his expert view of the team.

For weeks, Occupy ICE protesters have called the streets of Philadelphia home, urging the city to withdraw from an agreement that allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement to access the city's realtime database of arrests. Their demonstrations had been mostly confined to the streets, but on Wednesday, they attempted to go inside.

Protesters made their way into City Hall in hopes of confronting Mayor Kenney at his office with their demand. That plan was foiled, but they did manage to hold a stairwell and walked away with a promise for a meeting from the mayor.

The protesters' latest move comes as calls grow nationally to abolish ICE. Mayor Kenney will have to make a decision on the city's agreement with ICE by an Aug. 31 deadline.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

A fitting throwback post for this Thursday. What a gorgeous view from Philly's Rail Park, courtesy of @habitually_heather.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

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