Side Effects

Our reporting focuses on the impacts of environment, policy and economic conditions on Americans' health. Please contact us if you are interested in republishing these stories for free. Learn more about joining our network here.

Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy / U.S. Air Force

Kentucky has one of the worst outbreaks of Hepatitis A in the country, and the liver disease has spread to several other Midwest states including Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana.

 


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The manufacturer of a drug linked to Indiana's 2015 HIV outbreak spent more than $200,000 in 2016 promoting its opioid-based pain medication to doctors.

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Researchers have known for decades programs that provide clean syringes to injection drug users lower transmission rates of diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.

Now, they have personal stories to back the numbers.

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Ohio is among one of the hardest hit states by the opioid crisis. Yet, for five years in a row, Ohio along with every state in the U.S. has seen a continuous drop in opioid prescriptions.  Still the number of people who die from opioid overdoses continues to climb. This is all part of a national trend captured in a recent report from the American Medical Association.

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Courtney Reimlinger was breastfeeding her week-old son last year when she felt a pain in her chest.

The pain was excruciating, the 23-year-old Indianapolis native remembers, much worse than the 10 hours in labor she'd spent a week before. It spread up her neck and into her head, and soon she was slipping in and out of consciousness.

Emily Forman / Side Effects Public Media

Tamitria Jernigan takes her daughter Tashea to the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent’s in Indianapolis every three weeks for a blood transfusion. Tashea has a blood disorder known as sickle cell disease, and it caused her to have a stroke when she was two years old. The regular blood transfusions prevent her from having another one.


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Across the country, states desperate to prevent opioid addiction are increasingly looking to medical cannabis as a solution. Lawmakers in several states, including New York, Indiana, Georgia and Tennessee, have taken action to initiate or expand their medical marijuana programs to try and address the opioid crisis.

Illinois is trying to do the same.

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Hoosiers did not stop signing up for Indiana's Medicaid expansion even though they had to pay into a health savings account. That’s according to new research from three Indiana University professors.

Emily Forman / Side Effects Public Media

Doctor Emily Meier usually practices hematology at the Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center in Indianapolis. But four times a year Meier and her team drive two hours north to Lake County, Indiana and host a clinic for children diagnosed with sickle cell disease.


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Indianapolis health researchers hope the results of a new study will encourage policymakers to support nationwide Medicaid expansion.

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