opioid drug abuse

The opioid addiction crisis is getting worse, and it's often reported on in desperate terms. But to the people working on the front lines of the problem, there are known and proven approaches that can help. This series introduces you to these people and how they're tackling the issue in their communities — with hope, compassion and strength.

First, Do No Harm

Christine Herman

Can Marijuana Ease The Opioid Epidemic?

Feb 21, 2017
Pew Charitable Trusts

NEW YORK — After a 12-year battle with debilitating abdominal conditions that forced her to stop working, marijuana has helped Lynn Sabulski feel well enough to look for a job.

Sabulski is among nearly 14,000 patients in New York state who are certified to use medical marijuana for one of 10 conditions, including her primary diagnosis, inflammatory bowel disease. Marijuana doesn’t address her underlying disease, but it does relieve her painful symptoms.

Bill Aims To Limit Prescriptions Of Opioids In Indiana

Feb 9, 2017
Barbara Brosher/Indiana Public Media

A proposal that would limit opioid prescriptions passed a Senate committee Wednesday. It is one of 15 measures authored by Sen. Jim Merritt that aim to combat the opioid epidemic.

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.

New Indiana Governor Creates Drug Czar Position

Jan 19, 2017
Intiaz Rahim/via Flickr

On his first day in office, Indiana’s new Republican governor, Eric Holcomb, signed an executive order creating a new state-level position to coordinate anti-drug efforts, a move at least two other states made last year to turn back the rising tide of opioid addiction.

Aging And Addicted: The Opioid Epidemic Affects Older Adults, Too

Dec 21, 2016
Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

It took a lot of convincing for John Evard to go to rehab. Seven days into his stay at the Las Vegas Recovery Center, the nausea and aching muscles of opioid withdrawal were finally beginning to fade.

More Babies Born Drug Dependent In Rural Areas

Dec 20, 2016
Weird Beard/via Flickr

new study finds an alarming increase in the number of newborns dependent on drugs. The new research shows the number of newborns drug dependent increased nearly fivefold since 2000.

Police Try Treatment, Instead Of Punishment, For Addiction

Nov 10, 2016
Kristin Gourlay/Rhode Island Public Radio

Police departments in our region and around the country are scrambling to respond to the opioid addiction crisis. Many have added the overdose rescue drug, Narcan, to their tool belts. Others have stepped up efforts to prosecute heroin dealers. But in Gloucester, Massachusetts, a new program flips policing on its head to help addicts find treatment.

Opioid Dependence Leads To ‘Tsunami’ Of Medical Services, Study Finds

Aug 1, 2016
David K/via Flickr

In one of the first looks at privately insured patients with opioid problems, researchers paint a grim picture: Medical services for people with opioid dependence diagnoses skyrocketed more than 3,000 percent between 2007 and 2014.

The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

The bill, which had previously passed the House, will now be sent to President Obama. He has indicated that he will sign it, despite concerns that it doesn't provide enough funding.

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