Opioid | WGLT

Opioid

As suicide and opioid death numbers climb, researchers investigate how strong a connection exists.

Rauner deposits medicine
Mary Cullen / WGLT

Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner visited Bloomington-Normal on Tuesday with no pitch regarding his election campaign, just five weeks away from midterms.

There is some good news in the fight against opioid abuse in Illinois. Doctors prescribed fewer opioids to patients in 2017 than 2016, according to numbers from the statewide prescription monitoring program.

Like many states, Illinois is battling an opioid epidemic. Loran Owens, who lives in Franklin county in Southern Illinois, knows what the epidemic is like first-hand.

 

Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure on Tuesday that will allow medical cannabis to be used as an alternative treatment for conditions often treated with opioids, such as cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s and more.

Sheriff speaks at a podium
Mary Cullen / WGLT

The McLean County Sheriff’s Department rolled out a new program Wednesday to tackle the county's opioid epidemic that's taken 78 lives since 2015.

Camille Rodriguez
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Six months into the job, the new director of the McLean County Health Department is staring at a lengthy to-do list. It’s filled with complex problems with no easy solutions—opioid abuse, obesity, and even dental health, to name a few.

Chris O'Meara / AP

Prince's heirs are suing Walgreens and the Illinois hospital that treated him after he suffered a drug overdose just a week before he died.

It took several months and a team of half a dozen doctors, nurses and therapists to help Kim Brown taper off the opioid painkillers she’d been on for two years.

Brown had been taking the pills since an injury in 2014. It wasn’t until she met Dr. Dennis McManus, a neurologist who specializes in non-pharmacological approaches to pain management that she learned she had some control over her pain.

“That’s when life changed,” she said.


Toby Talbot / AP

Andrew Dewey once had a good job as an assistant manager of a department store. He was married with a son, and had saved a nest egg. All that changed after his doctor began prescribing potent painkillers.

Courtesy of Lieutenant Governor's Office

A 33-year-old Bloomington woman recovering from opioid addiction at Chestnut Health Systems says additional residential treatment centers are needed, as well as better support for those leaving treatment to return to their communities.

Chestnut Health Systems

Chestnut Health Systems has chosen its new CEO.  

Current Chief Clinical Officer Dave Sharar will take over as CEO on Jan. 7 when Russ Hagen retires after several decades with the not-for-profit health agency.

Sharar also has a long tenure at Chestnut. A statement from board Chair Judy Smithson indicates Sharar's experience in many of the lines of business and that the leadership skills he has exhibited over 29 years are valued.

Patrick Sison / AP

As McLean County faces more and more drug overdoses, GLT is looking for your help as we report on the people who’ve been impacted most by the opioid crisis.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

McLean County could join the growing list of state and local governments suing big pharmaceutical companies for distribution practices that they say contributed to the opioid crisis.

With Local Opioid Deaths Rising, Summit Seeks Solutions

Oct 31, 2017
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Every day, an estimated 140 people die of opioid overdoses in the U.S., according to health officials. President Donald Trump recently declared opioid addiction a public health emergency.