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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Indiana Officials Line Up Against Medical Marijuana

Nov 14, 2017
O'Dea / wikimedia commons

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.

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

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.

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.

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