Opioids

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

A presidential commission last week released its report on recommendations to help curb the nation’s opioid crisis. Indiana stakeholders say they’re heartened the crisis is receiving national attention but think parts of the report missed the mark.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The opioid commission chaired by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered a long list of recommendations to President Trump yesterday in its final report on the nation's opioid crisis. And we have more from NPR's Greg Allen.

Julie Eldred has been struggling with addiction to opioids for more than a decade and she says the criminal justice system punishes her for it.

Eldred, a part-time pet caretaker in Acton, Mass., was put on probation last year for theft. She knew staying drug-free would be tough — especially at first, when she was going through opioid withdrawal. But, she says, she didn't have much of a choice.

President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency on Thursday, freeing up resources to deal with the epidemic.

Last year, more than 64,000 people died from drug overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics. Many of those overdoses were from heroin, prescription painkillers, fentanyl and other opioids.

On an afternoon in August at the Indiana State Library, a stately limestone building usually home to genealogy conventions or history lectures, the Indiana chapter of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, laid out a very distinctive welcome mat emblazoned with a familiar leafy plant.


Second Indiana County Shuts Down Syringe Exchange Program

Oct 18, 2017
Steve Burns / WTIU

The Lawrence County commissioners voted Tuesday to end the southern Indiana county’s syringe exchange program. The county is the second in the state to close its program down.

The exchange, up for renewal after a year of operation, was suspended earlier this month, pending renewal by the county’s commissioners.

Navigating The Realities Of Relapse And Recovery

Oct 16, 2017
Kimberley Paynter / WHYY/The Pulse

For decades, prevailing wisdom held that to overcome addiction, the most important thing to do was to flush or “clean” the drugs out of one’s system, to get a fresh start. But more and more, research into the brain, in particular, has largely found this notion to be a myth. After all, long after those chemicals are gone, the underlying addiction and the cravings are still there.


Seth Herald / for Side Effects Public Media

Officer Ron Meyers drove down a dirt road 20 minutes outside the small city of Chillicothe, Ohio. As he passed each home, he slowed down and squinted, searching for an address. Out here, the house numbers are written on the front of homes in marker or in faded numbers clinging to old mailboxes. There’s no GPS.


Opioid Stigma Campaign Could Improve Treatment Access

Oct 4, 2017
Ryan Flanery / WFYI News

Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration or FSSA recently launched a campaign to reduce stigma surrounding opioid addiction, focusing on three ideas.

The first thing to understand, says FSSA Secretary Jennifer Walthall, is that addiction is a neurological disorder, a disease.

Insurers Restrict Access To Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers

Sep 25, 2017

This story was co-published with The New York Times.

At a time when the United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications.

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