Photo courtesy of Jay Zimmerman

Veteran Teaches Therapists How To Talk About Gun Safety When Suicide’s A Risk

Jay Zimmerman got his first BB gun when he was 7, and his first shotgun when he was 10. “Growing up in Appalachia, you look forward to getting your first firearm,” he said, “probably more so than your first car.”

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Indiana Locals Could Soon Approve Needle Exchanges, But Still Lack Funding

10 hours ago
DeepFruit/via Flickr

New governor Eric Holcomb promised in his State of the State address to make it easier for counties to establish syringe exchange programs and a bill moving through the legislature would make that possible.

But the programs still face significant opposition from officials, and funding the programs remains the largest barrier.


Photo courtesy of Jay Zimmerman

Jay Zimmerman got his first BB gun when he was 7, and his first shotgun when he was 10.

“Growing up in Appalachia, you look forward to getting your first firearm,” he said, “probably more so than your first car.”

Photo by Andrew Miller/via Flickr

This week - Needles might not sound like the best way to reduce opioid use, but Vermont hopes properly placed acupuncture can provide an alternative to pills to manage chronic pain. ... Another big insurer is removing a major barrier for people seeking addiction treatment. ... Sniff. Your flu vaccine might not work as well this year. ... Read on ...

Aetna, one of the nation's largest insurance companies, says that starting in March it will remove what's been a key barrier for patients seeking medication to treat their opioid addiction. The change will apply to all its private insurance plans, an Aetna spokeswoman confirmed. Aetna is the third major health insurer to announce such a switch in recent months.

Can Acupuncture Reduce Opioid Use? Vermont Funds Medicaid Study

Feb 13, 2017
BBC World Service/via Flickr

Vermont has already invested significant time and money in combating the opioid addiction, from special drug courts to laws regulating prescription monitoring. Now the state is considering a new tool in its arsenal: acupuncture. 

Patients in Alexandria, La., were the friendliest people Dr. Muhammad Tauseef ever worked with. They'd drive long distances to see him, and often bring gifts.

"It's a small town, so they will sometimes bring you chickens, bring you eggs, bring you homemade cakes," he says.

One woman even brought him a puppy.

"That was really nice," he says.

Tauseef was born and raised in Pakistan. After going to medical school there, he applied to come to the U.S. to train as a pediatrician.

Phil Galewitz/Kaiser Health News

This week - In one small Kentucky town, 11 pharmacies serve 1,500 people. Among their best-selling products? Opioids. ... Many homeless got Medicaid coverage under Obamacare, now they're worried about getting care if it is repealed. ... And the psychiatrist who wrote the book on diagnosing mental illnesses says, don't diagnose Trump ... Read on ...

Joann Mar/KALW

The average life span has nearly doubled during the last century.  But while people are living longer, they're now facing health challenges that were less prevalent before—severe chronic illness, cancer, lung disease, dementia, and Alzheimer's—debilitating conditions that often cause great pain and suffering. 

For many people nearing the end of their lives, palliative care—relief from pain and suffering—is not readily available.  

This story was produced by KALW

Since its founding in the 1950s, the Indian Health Service has provided medical care for many Native Americans. But the service has been chronically underfunded, so often pays for care only if someone is in immediate danger of losing life or limb.

Pharmacies Thrive Selling Opioids For Depressed Small Town Pain

Feb 8, 2017
Phil Galewitz/Kaiser Health News

MANCHESTER, Ky. — This economically depressed city in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains is an image of frozen-in-time decline: empty storefronts with faded facades, sagging power lines and aged streets with few stoplights.


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