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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Syringe Exchange Bill In Indiana Draws Impassioned Testimony From Top Officials

Jan 25, 2017
Joe Flintham
https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeflintham/

A governor-approved bill that would give Indiana counties and municipalities the ability to set up their own syringe exchanges passed its first hurtle, clearing the House Committee on Public Health Wednesday afternoon.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/

A Senate committee on Monday approved a bill that would extend Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits — also known as SNAP or food stamps — to former offenders convicted of certain drug-related offenses.

Fixtures, Pipe Materials Could Affect Drinking Water Safety

Jan 20, 2017

A Purdue University professor is investigating drinking water safety with a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Andrew Whelton, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Ecological Engineering, says drinking water safety, despite what many people might think, is not well understood.

“A lot of the declarations about drinking water safety are not actually based on science,” Whelton says. “They’re based on hope.”

Before leaving office, former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence denied an emergency declaration request from the city of East Chicago, Indiana. But East Chicago State Rep. Earl Harris, Jr. is hopeful new Gov. Eric Holcomb will still consider one.

The Calumet neighborhood of East Chicago has lead and arsenic contamination in its soil at 200 times the legal limit.

Harris says the request isn’t something the city asked for lightly.

“I didn’t know if there was a lack of understanding or what the situation was but really we need, needed, and still need more help,” Harris says.

Jake Harper/Side Effects

Indiana’s new governor, Eric Holcomb, vowed to tackle the state’s drug addiction epidemic in his first State of the State address on Tuesday. But he has also said he supports Congress’s plans to repeal and replace Obamacare.

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
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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
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Trey Pennington / https://www.flickr.com/photos/treypennington/

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.

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