Addiction and Drug Use

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The manufacturer of a drug linked to Indiana's 2015 HIV outbreak spent more than $200,000 in 2016 promoting its opioid-based pain medication to doctors.

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Ohio is among one of the hardest hit states by the opioid crisis. Yet, for five years in a row, Ohio along with every state in the U.S. has seen a continuous drop in opioid prescriptions.  Still the number of people who die from opioid overdoses continues to climb. This is all part of a national trend captured in a recent report from the American Medical Association.

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Across the country, states desperate to prevent opioid addiction are increasingly looking to medical cannabis as a solution. Lawmakers in several states, including New York, Indiana, Georgia and Tennessee, have taken action to initiate or expand their medical marijuana programs to try and address the opioid crisis.

Illinois is trying to do the same.

National Judicial Drug Task Force Meets In Indy

Jun 5, 2018
Brandon Smith/IPB News

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush says judicial leaders from around the country feel a sense of urgency as they develop an infrastructure for court systems to address the nation’s opioid crisis.

Chief Justice Loretta Rush is the co-chair of the National Judicial Opioid Task Force, which formed last year. It met for the third time this week in Indianapolis.

Maddie McGarvey / Side Effects Public Media

Jenn Glaser lay in bed with a severe pain in her right hip. In the last few days a large abscess had developed under her skin--an infection from injecting drugs. 

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Thirty U.S. states have enacted medical cannabis laws, and all but one of them include cancer in the list of conditions allowed. Such laws give cancer patients across the country access to a substance that remains illegal under federal law. Anecdotal reports suggest it’s helpful in managing symptoms of chemotherapy, like pain and nausea.

Jake Harper / Side Effects

It was a scheduling mishap that led Kourtnaye Sturgeon to help save someone’s life. About four months ago, Sturgeon drove to downtown Indianapolis for a meeting. She was a week early.

“I wasn’t supposed to be there,” she said.


Kyle Travers/WFYI

It took several months and a team of half a dozen doctors, nurses and therapists to help Kim Brown taper off the opioid painkillers she’d been on for two years.

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