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Top Health Stories of 2018: Addictions, Workarounds And Solutions

In 2018, Side Effects covered community struggles with public health crises, barriers to treatment and clever workarounds to get vulnerable people the care they need. 

Here are our 10 most-viewed stories of 2018:

Why New Mothers In Indiana Are Dying At One Of The Nation’s Highest Rates

The Hoosier state has one of the nation's worst rates of maternal mortality – nearly double the national rate. Pregnancy and giving birth is even more dangerous for black women. A new state maternal mortality review committee will look for trends and solutions.

How Heroin Traps Women In A Cycle of Sex Work And Addiction

Prostitution is increasing in Columbus, Ohio, and local advocates and law enforcement believe the increase is being fueled by drug addiction.

FDA Cracks Down On Teen Vaping, ‘Juuling

The number of young people using e-cigarettes is growing. Public health experts say devices like JUUL, a small, easily concealable e-cigarette, are driving the problem. The Food and Drug Administration is pushing for stronger regulations, but teens say the devices are common in high schools.

Neurosurgeon Tells NRA Gun Violence Is His 'Lane'

Doctors took to Twitter to vent their frustrations after the National Rifle Association said they should not speak out on the issue of gun violence. 

A Home For All Ages: Can Tiny Houses Help Older People Age In Place?

The nation has a shortage in accessible housing, the type that helps seniors age in place. Aging experts say the tiny housing model could make independent living more accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

Out Of Options, Parents Of Children With Mental Illness Trade Custody For Treatment

Across the U.S., children encounter many barriers to mental health treatment. Some parents, in a desperate attempt to get treatment, have resorted to an unusual workaround: giving up custody. 

Not 'Just A Phase': Growing Up With Gender Dysphoria

Gender dysphoria is the feeling that your gender doesn't match your biological sex. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that affirming a person's preferred gender significantly reduces the risk of mental illness and the likelihood of suicide. But the medical field is in the early stages of understanding the long-term impact of transitioning for youth who experience gender dysphoria.

Soon-To-Be Mothers In Missouri’s Bootheel Scramble To Find Care After Hospital Announces Closure

More than 80 rural hospital in the U.S. have been forced to close this year due to financial pressures. The closing of Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center in Kennett, Mo., blindsided patients in the region known as the Bootheel. 

Illinois Tightens Flu Shot Requirements For Health Workers. But Who’s Enforcing It?

Illinois law essentially requires flu shots for employees at state-licensed health care facilities. But a lack of clarity in the law created conflict between hospitals that wanted everyone vaccinated and employees who didn't want the shot.

Who Do First Responders Call For Help?

Firefighters and other first responders are at higher risk than most people for developing mental illnesses. But the stigma related to mental health treatment keeps many from seeking help for addiction and behavioral health issues.

Side Effects Public Media is a news collaborative covering public health.