Jake Harper / Side Effects

The Surgeon General Wants Us All To Carry Narcan, But It Can Be Hard To Get

It was a scheduling mishap that led Kourtnaye Sturgeon to help save someone’s life. About four months ago, Sturgeon drove to downtown Indianapolis for a meeting. She was a week early. “I wasn’t supposed to be there,” she said.

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On The Front Lines Of A Drug Crisis: A New Video Series

On The Front Lines Of A Drug Crisis: A New Video Series

The opioid addiction crisis is often reported on in desperate terms. But, to the people working on the frontlines of the problem, there are known and proven approaches that can help.

Atlanta Struggles To Fulfill MLK's Legacy In Health Care

Apr 4, 2018

While public safety commissioner Bull Connor's police dogs in 1963 attacked civil rights protesters in Birmingham, Ala., leaders in Martin Luther King Jr.'s hometown of Atlanta were burnishing its reputation as "the city too busy to hate."

Yet 50 years after the civil rights leader was killed, some public health leaders in Atlanta wonder whether the city is failing to live up to King's call for justice in health care. They point to substantial disparities, particularly in preventive care.

Losing your nest egg is apparently hazardous to your health — very hazardous.

An analysis involving more than 8,000 Americans found that those who suffered a "negative wealth shock" — defined as losing at least 75 percent of their wealth in two years — faced a 50 percent increased risk of dying over the next two decades.

Addiction Drug’s Side Effect: More Overdoses?

Apr 3, 2018
Kim Ryu / NPR

At the very moment that the Trump administration has thrown its weight behind a particular medication meant to deter opioid addiction, a new paper in a public-health journal is warning that too little is known about one of the medication’s possible downsides: a heightened chance of overdose among those who stop taking it prematurely.

Research has shown that sharp reductions in the amount of food consumed can help fish, rats and monkeys live longer. But there have been very few studies in humans.

Now, some researchers have found that when people severely cut calories, they can slow their metabolism and possibly the aging process.

Several Groups Sign Letter Opposing Indiana's HIP Work Requirement

Mar 31, 2018
Lauren Chapman/IPB News

A group of nonprofit organizations sent a letter to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb this week, urging him to reconsider a new work-requirement rule in the state's Medicaid expansion program, Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP.  

Straddled across Ausberto Maldonado's backyard in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, a suburb of San Juan, is a nagging reminder of Hurricane Maria's destructive power.

"See, that tree broke off that branch, which is as thick as a tree — and now it's in my yard," says Maldonado, a 65-year-old retiree.

Rats scurry from under the downed tree, preventing Maldonado from hanging his laundry. To get the tree removed, he must show up in person at a local government office. But the diabetic ulcers on his feet make it painful to walk.

Opioid Treatment Program Helps Keep Families Together

Mar 29, 2018

Velva Poole has spent about 20 years as a social worker, mostly in Louisville, Ky. She's seen people ravaged by methamphetamines and cocaine; now it's mostly opioids. Most of her clients are parents who have lost custody of their children because of drug use. Poole remembers one mom in particular.

"She had her kids removed the first time for cocaine. And then she had actually gotten them back," she says. But three months later, the mother relapsed and overdosed on heroin.

Sheila Dhand treats a lot of people who might not step foot in a health clinic or hospital — until an emergency.

"People don't want to show just anybody their wound," Dhand says. "A lot of time when talking about wounds, we're talking about drug use. And those things are so taboo."

Jake Harper/ Side Effects Public Media

New research finds that fentanyl is far more common than heroin in overdose deaths in Indianapolis and that blacks are particularly affected.

In 2017, nearly half of the people who died from an overdose in Marion County, where Indianapolis is located, had fentanyl in their system. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

Rachel Ralph works long hours at an accounting firm in Oakland, Calif., and coordinates much of her life via the apps on her phone.

So when she first heard several months ago that she could order her usual brand of birth control pills via an app and have them delivered to her doorstep in a day or two, it seemed perfect. She was working 12-hour days.

"Food was delivered; dinner was often delivered," Ralph says. "Anything I could get sent to my house with little effort — the better."

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What's Your Health care Workaround Story?

What's Your Health care Workaround Story?

What is the craziest thing you've had to do to get the health care you need? We're launching a new podcast called "The Workaround", and we're looking for your stories!

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