Confronting Iowa's Growing Problems with Access to Health Care, Rural Poverty and Addiction

Oct 10, 2017

Iowa brands itself as a place to grow, and it is, though sometimes that growth isn't always positive. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with a handful of Iowans about the biggest problems Iowa faces as a state and what's being done to solve them. 

Kathie Obradovich, a political columnist with the Des Moines Register, Al Fear, an officer with the Cedar Rapids Police Department who coordinates the Eastern Iowa Heroin Initiative, James Whitney, executive director of Upper Des Moines Opportunity Inc., and Iowa Public Radio's Clay Masters join the conversation. 

Across the state, there is an extreme lack of beds for inpatient mental health care, and according to Fear, in Linn County between 2015 and 2016, the county saw a jump in hospital admissions from 330 to 800 due to opioid dependency. 

"We are suffering from a lack of resources," he says. "Statewide, we only have 84 beds for inpatient therapy. We don't have enough resources to help people with addiction."