Health

Frank Wegloski/Indiana Fire Trucks

Our guest on WBAA's Wake-Up Call is Tippecanoe Emergency Ambulance Service Director Darrell Clase.

We asked him for an update on the  trends local emergency responders are seeing in terms of drug overdose calls resulting from the ongoing drug abuse problem that's permeated the nation.

For starters, he says, to-date this year, the number of calls to treat patients who've overdosed on heroin has more than doubled from last year.

hitthatswitch / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ringai/

The Indiana Senate has sent a bill allowing counties to start their own syringe exchanges to the governor for his signature. Current law says programs must be approved by the state health department.

The state approved its first needle exchange in 2015 after a serious HIV epidemic, fueled by intravenous drug use, broke out in downstate Scott County.

Advocates of county approval, including State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, say the bill eliminates a time-wasting step, and that local governments know best the health needs of their counties.

Rally Pushes For Tobacco Tax Increase

Apr 5, 2017

A rally to raise Indiana’s per-pack cigarette tax was held at the Statehouse Wednesday.

The House budget included a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase, to help cover a funding shift to pay for roads. The Senate got rid of that road funding shift and eliminated the tax hike.

Health advocacy groups gathered at the statehouse to urge lawmakers to treat the cigarette tax as a funding issue and a health issue.

Director of tobacco control and advocacy with the American Lung Association, Monique French, says raising the tax is a win-win.

 

The House passed legislation that aims to crack down on heroin dealers and those who rob pharmacies. But critics argue the legislature is “backsliding” to previous, failed attempts to address the drug epidemic.

The bill increases penalties for robbing a pharmacy and dealing certain amounts of heroin. It also prevents a judge from suspending all or part of some heroin dealing sentences.

Women in Indiana no longer have to wait at least 18 hours between an ultrasound and an abortion after a recent court ruling halting part of last year’s controversial abortion law.

A House committee moved a bill to the floor legalizing so-called “baby boxes” while putting in jeopardy the status of the state’s two existing devices.

Baby boxes are meant to be a more anonymous way for someone to leave an unwanted newborn. There are concerns surrounding the devices, focused on a lack of testing, industry standards, or best practices.

 

East Chicago residents affected by long-term lead exposure from now-shuttered refineries are hoping a new portable lead testing device will give them answers that have so far proved elusive.

Scientists, including a Purdue University professor, are in the process of testing an X-ray gun that measures the amount of lead in people’s bones – and they hope to take that test to East Chicago.

Wellness Program For Employees Has Lasting Impact

Mar 31, 2017
Leigh DeNoon/Indiana Public Broadcasting

Stress is an occupational hazard for healthcare workers.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Leigh DeNoon reports on how the wellness training of an entire department in one Indianapolis hospital has had a lasting impact.

Like many Americans, Fernow McClure found himself overweight and unhappy with his life -- until he got his mind opened to mindfulness.

“That’s certainly changed my life,” he says.

Occupational stress can be a killer for hospital workers like McClure.

deepfruit / https://www.flickr.com/photos/slippek/

Indiana senators are looking to add more restrictions and regulations to county syringe exchange programs, or SEPs.

Four amendments have been added a bill granting counties the ability to set up their own syringe services programs. Currently, the state health commissioner must certify a public health emergency before such a program can be created.

House Committee Wrestles With Vaping Regulations

Mar 29, 2017

 

Legislation regulating e-liquids – used in e-cigarettes – has gotten complicated as a House committee struggles to impose rules on the industry while avoiding constitutionality issues.

Indiana’s existing vaping regulations essentially created a monopoly, forcing dozens of manufacturers to shut down or move. That prompted lawsuits and an FBI inquiry.

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