addiction and drug use

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.

Opioid abuse is a crisis, but is it an emergency?

That's the question gripping Washington after President Trump's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis recommended that the president declare the epidemic a national emergency.

Update 3:35 pm August 10: Two days after making a few general remarks about the opioid crisis, President Trump on Thursday called it "a national emergency" and said his administration would be drawing up papers to make it official.

"We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis," Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

Wikimedia Commons

One of the first Indiana counties to implement a syringe exchange is now the first in the state to effectively shut its program down.

In Prince George's County, Md., every first responder carries naloxone, the drug that can reverse an opioid overdose.

"We carry it in our first-in bags," says Bryan Spies, the county's battalion chief in charge of emergency services. "So whenever we arrive at a patient's side, it's in the bag, along with things like glucose, aspirin and oxygen."

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