Addiction and Drug Use

Paige Pfleger / Side Effects Public Media

Christopher has been struggling with addiction since he was 14. He uses heroin, and he says things have been hard since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Photo by Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media.

Communities across the Midwest have been devastated by the opioid epidemic. But there's still a lot of misunderstanding about how opioids affect our bodies. A new and unusual museum exhibit is tackling this issue. 

Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media

A wide range of healthcare issues drew headlines in 2019, affecting the lives of millions of Americans. Here are some highlights from Side Effects Public Media's coverage across the Midwest:

Vaping. In the second half of the year, this crisis exploded onto America's consciousness. 

Photo by Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media.

It’s a Friday evening and a dozen or so people -- men, women, teenagers, little kids -- are gathered at TITLE Boxing Club. It’s an upscale boxing studio near a largely vacant shopping mall on Indianapolis' northside. 

Photo by Paige Pfleger / Side Effects Public Media.

At first glance, the people inside Franklin County Municipal Court room 13C have little in common. There’s a man in cutoff jean shorts with tattooed arms. Behind him sits a younger woman with freckles who looks like she came from soccer practice.

The group is bound together by circumstance: All were addicted to opioids and got in trouble with the law.

'Dopesick' Author Beth Macy On Opioids, Trump And More

Aug 30, 2019

Journalist Beth Macy has chronicled the origins of the opioid crisis in Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America.

In the new paperback edition's discussion guide, she argues again for greater emphasis on medical treatment for addicts.And she discussed President Trump, lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and other issues in an interview with The Daily Yonder, which covers rural America. For some excerpts, read on.

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