Public Health News For Indiana

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An opioid epidemic.  High  smoking rates.  Health care provider shortages. Indiana faces serious public health challenges.   Side Effects Public Media provides in-depth coverage of these issues and more.

Please write us with story ideas or questions at sideeffects@wfyi.org.  

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An Indiana lawmaker wants the state to take the next step toward making Indiana’s drug database more effective at preventing opioid addiction.

Fourteen states currently require both physicians and pharmacists to check someone’s prescription history before dispensing certain powerful medicines, but Indiana isn’t one of them.

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Researchers from the Indiana Hemophilia & Thrombosis Center (IHTC) and Northwestern University say a genetic mutation in some Old Order Amish living in Indiana protects them from effects of aging.

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Starting December 1, patients on Indiana’s Healthy Indiana Plan will have an easier time getting certain opioid addiction medications. The four insurers that manage plans for Indiana’s Medicaid program, HIP 2.0, are eliminating an administrative hurdle that can cause patients to wait days to receive their prescription, leaving them vulnerable to relapse and overdose.


Indiana Officials Line Up Against Medical Marijuana

Nov 14, 2017
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Despite a push from some Indiana legislators to legalize marijuana as an alternative to opioid pain medications, government officials — including the state’s governor himself — say they won’t support efforts to legalize medical pot.

Doctors, Researchers And Parents At Odds Over ‘Safe’ Sleep

Nov 14, 2017
Barbara Brosher / WTIU News

The Indiana Department of Child Services says asphyxiation was the leading cause of child neglect deaths in fiscal year 2015. And, according to DCS data, nearly a quarter of those incidents were the result of parents failing to provide safe sleeping environments.

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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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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said it’s past time for the U.S. to deal with the opioid epidemic.

Christie, who chairs the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, spoke Monday at the Indiana attorney general’s Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium in Indianapolis.

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.

A group of 12 contiguous U.S. states in the Midwest and South has the highest rate of adult tobacco use in the nation. If taken as a country, this group would rank among those with the highest smoking rates in the world.

This is according to a report released by Truth Initiative last week. Indiana is one of these twelve states, along with neighboring Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

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