Heroin on the Lakeshore

As opioid-related deaths have continued to climb, naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses, has become an important part of the public health response.

When people overdosing struggle to breathe, naloxone can restore normal breathing and save their lives. But the drug has to be given quickly.

On Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued an advisory that encouraged more people to routinely carry naloxone.

Medical marijuana appears to have put a dent in the opioid abuse epidemic, according to two studies published Monday.

The research suggests that some people turn to marijuana as a way to treat their pain, and by so doing, avoid more dangerous addictive drugs. The findings are the latest to lend support to the idea that some people are willing to substitute marijuana for opioids and other prescription drugs.

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Jake Harper/ Side Effects Public Media

Opioid Overdoses May Be Seriously Undercounted

Mar 21, 2018
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Jake Harper / Side Effects

How Many Opioid Overdoses Are Suicides?

Mar 15, 2018

Mady Ohlman was 22 on the evening some years ago when she stood in a friend's bathroom looking down at the sink.

"I had set up a bunch of needles filled with heroin because I wanted to just do them back-to-back-to-back," Ohlman recalls. She doesn't remember how many she injected before collapsing, or how long she lay drugged-out on the floor.

"But I remember being pissed because I could still get up, you know?"

She wanted to be dead, she says, glancing down. A wisp of straight brown hair slips from behind an ear across her thin face.

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Tex Texin / flickr.com/photos/textexin/3612094774

House Adopts Resolution To Study Medical Marijuana

Jan 25, 2018
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calvinnivlac / Flickr

On a Monday afternoon in October, a panel of Iowa state legislators gathered in the Statehouse to discuss the opioid epidemic.

Doctors, law enforcement officials and health insurers took turns at the lectern.

One of the witnesses was Deborah Thompson.

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Gretchen Frazee / WTIU News

Opioids Impact Indiana's Infant Mortality Rate

Nov 15, 2017

Jonathan Guffey has chiseled youthful looks and, at 32, does not have the haggard bearing of someone who has spent more than half his life hooked on opioids. That stint with the drug started at 15 and ended — he says for good — 22 months ago. He has a job working with his family in construction, but his work history is pockmarked by addiction.

"I've worked in a couple of factories for a short amount of time, probably just long enough to get the first check to get high off of," Guffey says.

When An Overdose Becomes A Gateway To Recovery

Aug 22, 2017
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Jake Harper/Side Effects
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory

The latest concern that law enforcement, addiction treatment centers and the public face in the battle against opioids is called "gray death."  It's a deadly concoction of gravel-like heroin that was first reported in Southern states and is spreading across the country.   The drug is so powerful that it can be absorbed into the body by merely touching it. 

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Nathan Forget / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nathanf/
Reno Beranger | Pixabay

  

Today:  an update on recent heroin overdose deaths in LaPorte County and some insight into the opioid addiction problem from Dr. Chris Johnson, chief medical officer of Pinnacle Treatment Centers.  The company operates the RecoveryWorks residential center in Merrillville.  Dr. Johnson says many times, the problem begins with efforts to deal with alcohol abuse.

An update from Indiana Public Broadcasting's Becca Costello on the effort to establish syringe exchange programs across the state.

NPR file photo

It's early into 2017 and LaPorte Police have already responded to incidents in which a person overdosed on opiates, or was thought to have experienced a drug overdose.  LaPorte Police Department Captain Thomas Thate,  who is the Chief Detective of the Detective Bureau says the department had it's first-of-the-year Narcan deployment on January 28th.  Narcan is the antidote used for the treatment of an opiate emergency, such as an overdose.  The victim Thate says was a white male in his late thirties.  An ambulance responded and the emergency crew determined he had possibly overdosed on an op