addiction and drug use

Jake Harper / Side Effects

Indiana’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Curtis Hill, has accused the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of manipulating facts in order to push a “pro-needle-exchange agenda.” He made the accusation in a statement released Tuesday.

Dying At Home In An Opioid Crisis: Hospices Grapple With Stolen Meds

Aug 25, 2017
Kaiser Health News

Nothing seemed to help the patient — and hospice staff didn’t know why.

They sent home more painkillers for weeks. But the elderly woman, who had severe dementia and incurable breast cancer, kept calling out in pain.

Emily Foreman / Side Effects Public Media

Pregnant women with opioid addiction often face obstacles in managing their treatment, including finding a doctor and battling with insurance paperwork. At a vulnerable time, they often stumble and relapse because of these problems.

While treatment for the disease is relatively straightforward, the communication between insurers and providers can be riddled with clerical errors and prone to delays.

A year ago, Maine was one of the first states to set limits on opioid prescriptions. The goal in capping the dose of prescription painkillers a patient could get was to stem the flow of opioids that are fueling a nationwide epidemic of abuse.

Maine's law, considered the toughest in the U.S., is largely viewed as a success. But it has also been controversial — particularly among chronic pain patients who are reluctant to lose the medicine they say helps them function.

As Drug Use Stresses Foster System, A Program Helps Keep Families Together

Aug 23, 2017
Sholten Singer / Kaiser Health News

After Raven Mosser gave birth six years ago, she woke up to a social worker in her hospital room. Her newborn son had been born exposed to opioids — drugs she had been abusing for years. If she didn’t get clean, she was at risk of losing him.

Jake Harper/Side Effects

On a cold morning last winter, Christopher Hinds says he woke up early, sick from withdrawal. He called a friend and they trekked across a highway, walking for more than two miles through the snow on a street without sidewalks to buy heroin. 

“You don’t think about nothing but getting it when you’re sick like that,” he says. 

Department of Foreign Affairs / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dfataustralianaid/

Indiana’s Medicaid will soon cover methadone treatment for people suffering from opioid addiction. That could mean more people seeking treatment, and savings for people already receiving it.


Stigma Keeps Some Doctors From Treating Drug Addiction

Aug 16, 2017
Edwin Torres / GroundTruth

Internal medicine physician Chinazo Cunningham runs a family health center in New York's South Bronx.

She has an appointment with Dinah, one of her regular patients. This is a routine checkup but a bit different — Dinah is a recovering heroin user. She takes buprenorphine, a prescription medication that treats her addiction and prevents relapse. Cunningham prescribes Dinah this drug and all of her other medications during her quarterly visits to the health center.

It's always appealing to think that there could be an easy technical fix for a complicated and serious problem.

For example, wouldn't it be great to have a vaccine to prevent addiction?

"One of the things they're actually working on is a vaccine for addiction, which is an incredibly exciting prospect," said Dr. Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services.

32 Churches, No Methadone Clinic: Trying To Heal In A 'Treatment Desert'

Aug 14, 2017
Brian Rinker / Kaiser Health News

Heather Menzel squirmed in her seat, unable to sleep on the Greyhound bus as it rolled through the early morning darkness toward Bakersfield, in California’s Central Valley. She’d been trapped in transit for three miserable days, stewing in a horrific sickness only a heroin addict can understand. Again, and again, she stumbled down the aisle to the bathroom to vomit.

Pages