Paige Pfleger/Side Effects Public Media

An Ohio doctor being investigated for the suspicious deaths of dozens of hospital patients has been charged with 25 counts of murder.

Emily Forman / WFYI

In Indiana, experts admit the bar for involuntary treatment — committing someone to medical care without their consent  — is high. Currently, if law enforcement deems a person dangerous or gravely disabled, an officer can transport them to a treatment facility against their will.


Dr. Jessie Gaeta, chief medical officer at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, inside the conference room where heroin users are monitored while they ride out a high.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

It's  just a quiet room filled with comfortable chairs, stocked with oxygen tanks and blood pressure cuffs. But it's likely the only place of it's kind in the country - a safe place where drug users can come to sit out a high under medical supervision. 

As nurse April Donahue tells WBUR's Commonhealth, the experience is different from working with this population in the past. 

Details On Death Certificates Offer Layers Of Clues To Opioid Epidemic

Jun 1, 2016

Dr. James Gill walked through the morgue in Farmington, Conn., recently, past the dock where the bodies come in, past the tissue donations area, and stopped outside the autopsy room.

"We kind of have a typical board listing all of the decedents for the day," Gill said, pointing to the list of names on a dry-erase board. "Overdose, overdose, overdose, overdose, overdose. That's just for today."

Rhode Island Gov. Unveils Plan To Reduce Overdose Deaths

May 17, 2016
An ambulance driving fast

The plan, developed by a task force of experts, calls for decreasing the number of overdose deaths by a third in three years. 

In the past few years, deaths from illicit drug overdose have climbed 50 percent in Rhode Island. One major reason: fentanyl, a drug 50 times as potent as heroin that’s being mixed into the heroin supply. Today, Gov. Gina Raimondo unveiled new initiatives to combat the rising number of deaths.

Walgreens Offers Naloxone Over-The-Counter In Indiana And Ohio

Feb 26, 2016
Anthony92931 via Wikimedia Commons

Walgreens Monday announced it will offer over-the-counter distribution of the opioid overdose drug naloxone in all its stores in Indiana and Ohio.

Overdose Antidote Nasal Spray Gets FDA Approval

Nov 30, 2015

The FDA has approved the first nasal spray version of naloxone, or Narcan, the drug used to save people from opioid overdoses.

Police officers and others have been using a spray form of Narcan for several years, converting the already-approved injectable drug into a mist with a kit. The Camden County, New Jersey Police Department, for example, has saved 159 people from overdoses with off-label spray naloxone since May of 2014.

Most Americans See Personal Connection To Rising Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Nov 25, 2015

The growing abuse of prescription painkillers now touches home for a majority of Americans, according to a poll released Tuesday.

This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit national health policy news service. 

Should Methadone Be Retired As A Treatment For Pain?

Nov 9, 2015
neeel via Flickr

More than 16,000 Americans die each year from prescription opioid overdoses, with a disproportionate number of these deaths attributed to methadone. Now, the federal government is calling on states to consider removing methadone from the list of preferred drugs used as pain relievers for Medicaid patients. This proposal is part of a larger White House initiative to stop the nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic.

In Reversal, Death Rates Rise For Middle-Aged Whites

Nov 2, 2015

A decades-long decline in the death rate of middle-aged white Americans has reversed in recent years, according to a surprising new analysis released Monday.

The cause of the reversal remains unclear. Researchers speculate it might be the result of the bad economy fueling a rise in suicides, plus overdoses from prescription painkillers and illegal drugs like heroin, and alcohol abuse.