Health

LPD Sergeant Worries A Needle Exchange Is A Bad Idea

Nov 2, 2016
Steve Burns / WTIU

The sergeant who oversees the Lafayette Police Department’s street crimes unit says he’s worried creating a needle exchange program will flood Tippecanoe County with heroin addicts.

“That word gets out and everyone says 'oh we can go to Tippecanoe County and we can get free needles' and then they come here and don’t leave," Adam Mellady says.

Mellady says he also worries adopting the needle exchange program is against at least the spirit of state law.

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East Chicago residents are taking steps to open a fifth lawsuit over lead and arsenic contamination there.

Residents allege city and state officials knew about the pollution as far back as 1972, when the West Calumet Housing Complex was built.

More than 250 current and former residents, including 187 children, filed notices last week that they intend to sue the city of East Chicago.

Eric Pavlack is one of the attorneys representing the residents.

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A new study from the nonprofit Mental Health America puts Indiana 45th in the nation when it comes to mental health care.

The survey gauges achievement in 15 different metrics, including the percentage of adults and children who report mental illness, the number of adults with dependence or abuse of drugs or alcohol and number of adults with a disability who can’t afford to see a doctor.

https://www.healthcare.gov/

Open enrollment on the Affordable Care Act exchange begins Nov. 1. But how much Hoosiers will pay on the ACA marketplace depends on many factors — including whom is asked. 

Last week the Obama administration announced new rates on the federal marketplace will rise an average of 22 percent nationwide. That reported increase, though, is only based on one benchmark Silver plan, which is used to calculate federal subsidies.

More Patients Turning To Pharmacies For Flu Shots

Oct 26, 2016
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New research shows how pharmacists administering flu shots is leading to a change in how we immunize ourselves.

Today, it’s common for people to get their flu shots at a drug store pharmacy. That wasn’t always the case because in the past, only doctors and nurses could give the shots. 

An Indiana University study shows the number of flu shots given in pharmacies increased dramatically once laws changed.

In 2007, around 3 million flu shots were given at pharmacies. Six years, later, and that number has risen to almost 21 million.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

Last year, the North Montgomery School Cooperation came face-to-face with tragedy—three of its high school students committed suicide within a 10-month period. Now, the rural district is re-learning how it approaches conversations about the topic.

The North Montgomery school board voted Monday evening to adopt a significantly expanded policy that puts communication—both with students and teachers—front and center when it comes to prevention efforts.

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Since 2015, Indiana counties have established syringe-exchange programs with the hopes of curbing the spread of HIV and hepatitis.

The latest county to establish such a service — Allen County — has decided to call the program something different, a move other counties in Indiana are considering as well.

The Indiana bill legalizing needle exchanges refers to the services as syringe exchange programs, and most counties’ terminology has followed suit. But earlier this month, Allen County announced the establishment of a syringe services program.

Elkhart Plans Survey Of Lead Water Pipes

Oct 24, 2016
Brandy Shaul / https://www.flickr.com/photos/zoologist/

In the wake of the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, many towns across the country are taking steps to reduce the risk of lead contaminated drinking water—including Elkhart. Elkhart’s first step is identifying those lead service lines.

Elkhart’s Board of Public Works freed up nearly $300,000 for the city’s public works department. Utility Service Manger Laura Kolo says the money will be used to locate all the lead service lines.

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A group of Indiana lawmakers is recommending the General Assembly take up a draft bill that would offer addiction treatment to certain misdemeanor offenders.

The state currently offers such treatment to select low-level felons as part of the newly-formed Recovery Works program, which allows justice officials to decide whether to offer vouchers for services such as addiction counseling and detox programs.

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Of 186,000 Medicare patients admitted to Indiana Hospitals in 2015, about one in six needed to return to the hospital within a month for different treatment. That’s a small decline from 2010, a drop in-line with national trends.

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