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.

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New Indiana Governor Creates Drug Czar Position

Jan 19, 2017
Intiaz Rahim/via Flickr

On his first day in office, Indiana’s new Republican governor, Eric Holcomb, signed an executive order creating a new state-level position to coordinate anti-drug efforts, a move at least two other states made last year to turn back the rising tide of opioid addiction.

American Legion Of Indiana Wants Medical Marijuana Legalized To Ease Vet Pain

Jan 16, 2017
Barbara Brosher/Indiana Public Media

The American Legion of Indiana passed a resolution Sunday calling on Congress to recognize marijuana as a drug with medical value and asking Indiana legislatures to develop a medical marijuana program.

Denis Defreyne/Flickr

The state legislature will consider a law to curb Indiana’s smoking rate, which is one of the highest in the nation. The proposed bill would raise the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack, among other measures.

Alzheimer's Researchers, Patients Pick Up The Pieces After High-Profile Eli Lilly Failure

Jan 13, 2017
Sarah Fentem / Indiana Public Broadcasting

In her words, there were a lot of tears. Siemers says some researchers had worked for a decade on this single molecule.

“After you’ve put a lot of your own blood sweat and tears into one of these programs — it’s been a little bit tough on people,” says Siemers.

It made for a very somber Thanksgiving,” says Ferrell.

New State Drug Director To Coordinate Indiana's Addiction Prevention Strategy

Jan 10, 2017
Trey Pennington /

Eric Holcomb has signed an executive order creating a position within his office to oversee all state agencies involved with drug prevention and treatment efforts.


Abortion remained a contentious issue in 2016 – the state saw a new law, demonstrations and three lawsuits. The Indiana’s abortion debate could continue to be a focus as the the 2017 legislative session gets underway.

In recent years, lawmakers in a handful of states have passed more restrictive abortion laws. Legal Director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana Ken Falk says Indiana is part of that trend.

More Babies Born Drug Dependent In Rural Areas

Dec 20, 2016
Weird Beard/via Flickr

new study finds an alarming increase in the number of newborns dependent on drugs. The new research shows the number of newborns drug dependent increased nearly fivefold since 2000.

President-elect Donald Trump unveiled two big health care decisions Tuesday.

Garden To Pantry: Fight Against Hunger Evolving

Nov 23, 2016
Jill Sheridan/IPB News/WFYI

Food pantries are an important part of the safety net for the one in six Indiana residents who struggles with hunger. But pantries face a lot of obstacles when it comes to providing fresh, healthy food.


Shira Gal/via Flickr

Tobacco use is costing Indiana taxpayers, healthcare providers and employers billions of dollars each year, according to a new report from the Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI. According to the report, costs associated with tobacco use total $6.8 billion, which includes health care and lost productivity costs.