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.  

Ways to Connect

Jake Harper / Side Effects

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.

Barbara Brosher / WFIU News

The Trump administration’s new rules on birth control coverage — which roll back a requirement stating employers must cover birth control— could mean the University of Notre Dame and other Indiana employers might stop covering contraceptives as part of their health plans.

Emily Forman / WFYI

In Indiana, experts admit the bar for involuntary treatment — committing someone to medical care without their consent  — is high. Currently, if law enforcement deems a person dangerous or gravely disabled, an officer can transport them to a treatment facility against their will.

 


New Project Brings End-Of-Life Planning To Nursing Homes

Sep 28, 2017
Samantha Horton / WNIN/Si

The Indiana State Department of Health awarded a three-year $332,360 grant to the University of Southern Indiana for research into advance care planning in 15 nursing homes in Southwest Indiana.

Emily Forman / Side Effects Public Media

Janice McClain climbed aboard the van at a stop in downtown Indianapolis and took a seat among a dozen or so other travelers on a recent September day. They were all women and were all on their way to visit children, spouses and fiancés in prison.


AJ Casey / AJKC LLC

One day in August 2016, 83-year-old Albert Fink crashed his 2012 BMW sedan into a tree, on a curve on Indiana State Road 46 just outside of Bloomington.

Indianapolis, Indiana.
Evan Walsh

On a rainy day in Austin, Indiana, Brittany Combs, the public health nurse for Scott County, drives around in a white SUV. Medical supplies are piled high in the back of the vehicle: syringes and condoms, containers for used needles, over-the-counter medications.


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