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The Journal Gazette

Opioid addiction

A painful, costly grip

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s being called a national epidemic. From powerful pain killers to heroin, opioid use and abuse has reached epic proportions. Indiana is not immune.

The latest figures show 462 Hoosiers died from an opioid overdose in 2014, up from 41 when the new millennium began, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Prescription pain relievers were a driving factor in that increase.

The epidemic affects all corners of the state. Small rural counties have some of the highest rates for non-fatal opioid overdoses.

For the next few months, The Journal Gazette will explore the opioid epidemic at the local level. Today we provide an overview of the problem and let users tell their stories.

Sunday, December 3, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: Whether powerful prescription painkillers or heroin, opioid abuse is a national epidemic, and northeast Indiana is not immune.

The Journal Gazette today ends its opioid series with a focus on federal and state legislation aimed at drug treatment and prevention.

Recovery law mired in funding quagmire

When Susan Brooks was the U.S. district attorney for southern Indiana in the early 2000s, she prosecuted an Indianapolis doctor for overprescribing ...


State officials vow to take on epidemic

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana officials so far have tinkered around the edges of the addiction epidemic.


Fighting pain with knowledge

When she was in nursing school, Amy Harmeyer was taught that pain is the fifth vital sign.


The series so far

For the past five months, the Journal Gazette has reported on aspects of opioid abuse across the region. Here’s a summary of the ...


Sunday, November 13, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: Whether powerful prescription painkillers or heroin, opioid abuse is a national epidemic, and northeast Indiana is not immune.

Doctors and pharmacists are on the battle lines, but in its continuing series The Journal Gazette reports that substance abuse is going untreated as many medical professionals cast a wary eye on prescribing and dispensing opioids.

Fight to get prescriptions for pain filled

Emaciated and disheveled, the man waited for the pharmacist to fill his prescription for powerful painkilling drugs.


Friday, November 4, 2016

Minding health

For the last three years, Mental Health America has ranked every state on several mental health and access measures.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: Whether powerful prescription painkillers or heroin, opioid abuse is a national epidemic, and northeast Indiana is not immune.

In its continuing opioid series, The Journal Gazette today goes inside Redemption House, where women spared from jail must face their addictions.

Women find addiction redemption

Nestled back from the road on Fairfield Avenue and inside a quiet red-brick house, a group of women are changing their lives.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: Whether powerful prescription painkillers or heroin, opioid abuse is a national epidemic, and northeast Indiana is not immune.

In its continuing opioid series, The Journal Gazette today looks at detoxing in jail and an alternative that is being proposed.

Getting detox started in jail

Changes may be coming in the way Allen County treats its drug-addicted offenders.


Her route to recovery began in jail

The last time Alicia Hart detoxed from heroin in the Allen County Jail, it changed her life ... for the better.


Opioids' insidious embrace

Frankly, this is one of the most significant public health issues we have faced.


State has no detox standard

Arrested and separated from their narcotic of choice, Allen County Jail inmates are left to sweat it out on their own.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Moving the needle

The state has finally approved Allen County’s request for permission to begin a needle-exchange program.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: Whether powerful prescription painkillers or heroin, opioid abuse is a national epidemic, and northeast Indiana is not immune. In its continuing opioid series, The Journal Gazette today looks at addiction treatment, the demise of long-term inpatient care and barriers some patients have in seeking help.

Area opioid treatment changing, limited

The traditional 28-day stint in a rehab facility for drug and alcohol addiction treatment is largely a thing of the past.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: Whether powerful prescription painkillers or heroin, opioid abuse is a national epidemic, and northeast Indiana is not immune.

In its continuing opioid series, The Journal Gazette today features the effects of addicted workers on businesses.

Prescription abuse saps employers

When opioid addicts count their losses, the numbers seem simple: One marriage. Two jobs. Custody of three children. But when you measure the ...


Understanding opioids' lure aids in battle

Except that the goal is to save lives, not to take them, you could call the struggle against opioids a war. Knowing the enemy in that battle ...


Sunday, September 4, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: Whether powerful prescription pain killers or heroin, opioid abuse is a national epidemic, and northeast Indiana is not immune.

In its continuing opioid series, The Journal Gazette today features two families struggling to reconcile after drugs tore them apart.

Familes find redemption

Woman recalls roller coaster she put herself, children on

For Marisa Hanlon and her children Jonathan and Tori, life has been a roller coaster of pain, sadness, joy and redemption.


After losing everything, mom, kids reconnecting

It all started with prescription painkillers. Injured in a car crash in 1998 at the age of 14, Tayvon Wendell saw a family doctor for 10 years.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

High stakes

About the only good news about the opioid epidemic is that addicts can beat the odds.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: Whether powerful prescription pain killers or heroin, opioid abuse is a national epidemic, and northeast Indiana is not immune.

Children, the most vulnerable among us, are among the victims. Today, The Journal Gazette continues its opioid series with a look at babies born to addicted mothers.

Fighting addiction from birth

Tiny delicate baby feet, pedaling in the air. Round and round. Going nowhere.


Opioid fight begins in the womb

As our ongoing series of stories shows, the opioid epidemic affects every part of our community.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Supply lines

The raids, arrests and seizures that broke up a major northern Indiana drug ring this week culminated a year and a half of work by federal, state and local law enforcement.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Under the influence

Parents and teachers who believe drug problems couldn’t infiltrate their schools or endanger their kids are wrong.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: Whether powerful prescription pain killers or heroin, opioid abuse is a national epidemic, and northeast Indiana is not immune.

Today, The Journal Gazette continues its series with a look at opioid use and teens, including what’s taught in schools and addiction treatment.

Schools play key role in fighting back

South Side High School graduate Romeo Morris and North Side High School senior Jazmyn Hernandez still remember an afterschool anti-drug program they took at Memorial Park Middle School.


Groups defeat barriers to reach addicted teens

It can be a challenge to get teenagers to open up to adults about their problems, particularly when talking about mental health and addiction.


Youth drug use falling but still high: Surveys

Indiana ranks high in the number of students who take prescription drugs illegally, but two surveys show a downward trend.


Where to go for help

The following organizations offer help to youth wanting to kick an opioid addiction.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

We're hooked on a killer

Northeast Indiana has a drug problem. We’re not alone, for the rest of America, in one way or another, is caught in the throes of addiction.


DRUG of CHOICE

When emergency workers get to an overdose call in time, they can work a miracle.


Still healing, Warsaw woman wants to reach out to others

Through years of drug abuse, Lindy Dilley told herself she would never shoot up.


Meds for her severe pain leave widow on the edge

She’s 70 years old, a widow, and an opioid user who understands the lure of heroin.


Young father in pain gets off vicious cycle

After telling his story of drug addiction and recovery, Jared Larkey, soft-spoken and measured in his tone, has what seems to be an afterthought.


Why overdoses happen so easily

Many people do not understand how easily this can happen as a result of how drugs affect various parts of the body differently.


Opioid medications

Opioids are used to treat moderate to severe pain, especially when other medications don’t seem to help.


Addiction resources

The following organizations offer aid locally to those wanting to kick addiction.