Addiction and Drug Use

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. After six years of heroin addiction, Glaser had had many of these but always managed to take care of them on her own. She avoided hospitals and the doctors who she feared would label her a “junkie.”  

This time, however, the infection was serious. Glaser’s leg was swollen and the pain was so bad she couldn’t walk. But that didn’t stop her from working. Her pimp insisted she continue seeing her male clients and Glaser knew it was what she had to do to feed her addiction.  “I had to make that money,” remembers Glaser, who at the time was in the throes of heroin addiction. 

Jupiterimages/Getty Images

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.

Federal Ban on Methadone Vans Seen as Barrier to Treatment

Mar 23, 2018
The Pew Charitable Trusts

From California to Vermont, mobile methadone vans have served people with opioid addiction in rural towns and underserved inner-city neighborhoods for nearly three decades.

But the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which regulates dispensing of the FDA-approved addiction medicine, has refused to license any new methadone vans since 2007 over concerns about potential diversion of the medication.

Jake Harper / Side Effects

In a refrigerator in the coroner’s office in Marion County, Indiana, rows of vials await testing. They contain blood, urine and vitreous, the fluid collected from inside a human eye. In overdose cases, the fluids may contain clues for investigators. 


Congress Tackles The Opioid Epidemic, But How Much Will It Help?

Mar 19, 2018
Brad Dozier / Flickr

The nation’s opioid epidemic has been called today’s version of the 1980s AIDS crisis.

In a speech Monday, President Donald Trump pushed for a tougher federal response, emphasizing a tough-on-crime approach for drug dealers and more funding for treatment.

Louis Arevalo holds his Truvada pills at his home in Los Angeles, California on July 17, 2015. The drug Truvada, used to halt HIV infection, has been shown to be over 90 percent effective when used correctly.
Heidi de Marco / Kaiser Health News

An analysis released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides further links between syringe services programs and preventing HIV. 


Wikimedia Commons

The Indiana Senate has passed a bill requiring more complete reporting of overdose data from county coroners.

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