vivitrol

Side Effects Public Media reporter Jake Harper was recognized by the National Institute for Health Care Management for his reporting on how a drugmaker pushed lawmakers and courts to take steps that would increase the use of one of the company's drugs. This meant alternative medications were restricted. 

At the 24th annual NIHCM Research and Journalism Awards on June 5, Harper received honorable mention for the investigative reporting he did with NPR last year.  You can listen to Harper's stories below. 

Joe Flintham/via Flickr

A much-anticipated new study found two popular opioid addiction medications are equally effective after treatment begins.

LAbaseballFan / Wikimedia Commons

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is investigating the pharmaceutical company Alkermes for its marketing and lobbying efforts used to “artificially boost sales” of its addiction drug, Vivitrol.

Jake Harper / Side Effects Public Media

Philip Kirby says he first used heroin during a stint in a halfway house a few years ago, when he was 21 years old. He quickly formed a habit.

"You can't really dabble in it," he says.

  

Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPBS

This week, Side Effects Public Media released a report detailing how the president of an Indiana nonprofit is also lobbying for a drug company, Alkermes. The story, produced in collaboration with WFYI and NPR, has some political leaders in Indiana calling for stricter disclosure rules for lobbyists trying to influence policy. 

 

Kim Ryu / NPR

Two years ago, a mental health advocate named Steve McCaffrey stood at a lectern in the Indiana statehouse, testifying in favor of an addiction treatment bill. After years of rising overdose rates, lawmakers in the health committee were taking action to combat the opioid epidemic. And they often turned to McCaffrey, who leads Mental Health America of Indiana, to advise them.

An injection is administered to the upper arm.
Blake Patterson via Flickr

Although they can manage drug addictions behind bars, inmates are at a high risk for overdosing and reoffending in their first year once released.

That's why Pennsylvania's Department of Corrections will be one of the first in the nation to begin treating opiate-addicted inmates with medication.

Police Turn To Pricey Rehab Drug For Offenders

Nov 4, 2015
Miles Bryan

Cameron Largent, 26,  lives with his mother in a big suburban house in Rock Springs, Wyoming. His favorite spot at home is the basement couch, where he’s set up to play the fantasy video game World of Warcraft. 

“I’m a priest,” he said. “So my job is to run around and heal people. [My character] is the highest level you can get: level 100.”

Largent has had a lot of time to level up recently: he has been sober for six months. It’s the longest he has gone without drinking for years.