Addiction and Drug Use

Seth Herald for Side Effects

Months in prison didn’t rid Daryl of his addiction to opioids.

“Before I left the parking lot of the prison, I was shooting up getting high,” he says.

Who Do First Responders Call For Help?

Aug 9, 2018
Lauren Bavis/Side Effects Public Media

Blood has a distinct, coppery scent. If that's what Brandon Dreiman smelled when he stepped off the fire truck, he knew his job wasn’t going to be easy.

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Dr. Elliot Tapper has treated a lot of patients, but this one stood out.

"His whole body was yellow," Tapper remembers. "He could hardly move. It was difficult for him to breathe, and he wasn't eating anything."

The patient was suffering from chronic liver disease. After years of alcohol use, his liver had stopped filtering his blood. Bilirubin, a yellowish waste compound, was building up in his body and changing his skin color.

Disturbing to Tapper, the man was only in his mid-30s – much younger than most liver disease patients.

Creative Commons/Pixabay

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.

flickr/cindyshebley/CC BY-NC 2.0

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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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.

National Judicial Drug Task Force Meets In Indy

Jun 5, 2018
Brandon Smith/IPB News

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush says judicial leaders from around the country feel a sense of urgency as they develop an infrastructure for court systems to address the nation’s opioid crisis.

Chief Justice Loretta Rush is the co-chair of the National Judicial Opioid Task Force, which formed last year. It met for the third time this week in Indianapolis.

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