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This Week In Public Health: When It Comes To Smoking, Indianapolis Parties Like It's 1987

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Esther Honig/Side Effects Public Media
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This week: Faced with a tight budget and increases in overdose calls, one Ohio town official is proposing a limit on lifesaving OD treatments. Plus: A new study suggests tobacco retailers target low-income neighborhoods, and an artist's near-death experience turned into an opportunity to create medical music.

This week from Side Effects

Ohio Town Floats Rationing Lifesaving Overdose Treatments For Repeat Offenders Middleton, Ohio has already seen nearly 600 overdoses this year—that’s more than it saw in all of 2016. If overdoses continue at this rate, City Councilman Dan Picard says they won’t be able to afford to provide emergency services. Now, he’s made a startling proposal, suggesting a three strikes rule: overdose two times and the third time, medics may not respond. Side Effect’s Esther Honig explains.

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Credit Emily Forman / Side Effects

Smoking Rates Remain High In Low-Income Neighborhoods With Easy Access To Cigarettes While the smoking rate has declined overall in the United States, national data show it remains high among the poor. As Emily Forman reports, a new study finds where there are dense clusters of tobacco retailers, there’s a higher rate of smoking. Those clusters are mostly in lower-income neighborhoods.

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Credit Samantha Horton/Side Effects Public Media

A Kentucky Family Stares Down The Barrel Of A Potential Medicaid Rollback As Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell works to drum up votes for his health care bill in Congress, people in his home state worry about what they could lose if the bill passes. As Medicaid customer Marie Kirtley tells reporter Sam Horton, “It’s one day at a time. Today…I have health insurance.”

What our reporters are reading elsewhere around the web:

Nature is a privilege: Evidence of the health benefits of time in nature continues to stack up. Doctors are catching on to so-called “ecotherapy,” even going so far as to write prescriptions for going outside. But nature isn’t accessible to everyone—it requires things like a safe neighborhood, gas money, hiking gear. When coming up with prescriptions for nature, The Atlantic points out, we have to keep in mind the "political economic context.” 

Pharma on Film: Did you now there is a so-called “Academy Awards of Pharmaceuticals?” Sure, on the surface it seems Pharma ads are just an endless parade of attractive gray-haired people playing golf, paddling canoes and relaxing on sun-dappled docks, but the jury at the Cannes Lions Health Festival might beg to differ. The Pharma Lions prizes celebrate creativity in pharma ads. The catch: for two years running, the jury hasn’t awarded a grand prize. In FiercePharma’s words, the entries just weren’t that good

Musical Maladies: When Indianapolis-based electronic artist Adam Jay got caught in the hospital with a perforated lung, he did what any audio producer might do: he started recording the beeps and boops coming out of the machines that were keeping him alive. It eventually became a four-song EP, mediastinum , which helped, in part, pay for his medical bills. He discusses it on WFYI's Cultural Manifesto.

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