opioid crisis

Lisa Gillespie/Side Effects Public Media

Getting to Anne Polston’s house is a journey: first, you have to get to Liberty, a town about two hours southeast of Louisville. Then, there’s a winding eight-mile road that’s largely one-lane, and sometimes just gravel.

Can Cannabis Help Patients In Pain Avoid Opioids?

May 1, 2019
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Since February, patients in Illinois have been able to swap their opioid prescriptions for marijuana. And many are doing just that.

Indianapolis Begins Mobile Syringe Exchange Program

Apr 10, 2019
Jill Sheridan/IPB News

Indiana’s ninth syringe exchange program was launched in Marion County. 

The opioid epidemic has ravaged cities across the United States. And just a couple of years ago, Dayton, Ohio, had one of the nation’s worst overdose death rates. Now, overdose deaths have decreased, and Ohioans impacted by addiction are sharing stories of hope.

Paige Pfleger/Side Effects Public Media

The Columbus, Ohio, area has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. And local judges say their courtrooms are jammed with misdemeanor cases that are tied to addiction. Eager for solutions, they're turning to a  treatment clinic in an unlikely location.

ALEX SMITH / KCUR 89.3

Long before Eric Kirkwood of Kansas City, Kansas, had his first sickle cell crisis at age 17, he knew about the pain caused by the disease. His uncle and sister had the genetic disorder, which causes blood cells to clump together and cut off circulation, leaving many patients with pain they describe like being squeezed in a vise.

“I’ve been in so much pain that I’m like, ‘Why am I not dying?’” Kirkwood said. “It’s really like torture.”

SETH HERALD FOR SIDE EFFECTS

Buprenorphine is an FDA-approved medication used to treat opioid addiction, but it can be hard to get. That leaves some people suffering from addiction with a choice: keep using, or get buprenorphine on the black market.

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In parts of the country hit hard by addiction, some public health officials are considering running sites where people can use heroin and other illegal drugs under medical supervision. Advocates say these facilities, known as supervised injection sites, save lives that would otherwise be lost to overdoses and provide a bridge to treatment.

What A U.S.-China Trade War Could Mean For The Opioid Epidemic

Jul 6, 2018
Bruce A. Taylor - Criminalist II / NH State Police Forensic Lab

The American struggle to curb opioid addiction could become collateral damage in President Donald Trump’s showdown on trade. 

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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.