Ongoing Coverage:

Addiction

River to River
5:13 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Binge Drinking: "I black out almost every single time I drink”

Whatsername? / flickr

Iowa ranks as one of the highest binge drinking states in the country.

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Health
7:11 am
Thu February 13, 2014

E-Cigarettes: Regulating a Changing Smoking Culture

Aliesha Kirby, one of Central Iowa Electronic Cigarettes' store managers, said they've never sold their products to minors and many of their customers use e-cigarettes to cut back their nicotine consumption.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

The Iowa House voted to ban the sale of so-called e-cigarettes to minors this week. Electronic cigarettes heat liquid and nicotine into a smokeless vapor. Republicans, who control the House, blocked debate on a Democratic amendment that would have also kept similar e-cigarettes out of kids’ hands, even if they do not contain nicotine. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters talks to the sponsor, Rep. Tyler Olson (D - Cedar Rapids) of the amendment and takes a trip to an e-cigarette shop in northwest Des Moines.

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Health
6:40 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Iowa Smoking Rate Declines, but E-Cigarettes Worry Health Officials

Gonzalo Merat

In the 50 years since the U.S. government released its first report on the hazards of cigarettes, smoking rates have dropped by half. Yet, about a fifth of Iowans smoke today.

And while the smoking rate of young adults continues to decrease, about 2,600 Iowa minors become new daily smokers each year.

“Most people who use tobacco products start at a very early age,” said Dr. Karl Thomas, Executive Vice Chair for Clinical Programs at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

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News Buzz
2:22 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Cameras, Compromise, 'Codone, 'The Catch,' and Cold

A snow angel
Alan Light

In this 'News Buzz' edition of River to River, hear about new rules for traffic cameras in Iowa, a stopgap farm bill passed in the U.S. House, a new hydrocodone-related drug which is meeting opposition from Iowa's Attorney General, the Hawkeyes will meet LSU, and what's with the early bout of cold weather?

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River to River
4:21 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Reuniting Families Through Court

Billie Hara

This segment of River to River features a volunteer-run court in Iowa - the Johnson County Family Treatment Court - that works with parents who suffer from substance abuse. Host Ben Keiffer sits down with a recent graduate of the court, a mother who formerly struggled with a meth addiction while trying to raise her son.

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River to River
3:52 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

How Illicit Drugs Come to Iowa

Picture above is heroin powder. Eastern Iowa has seen an uptick in heroin use and overdose deaths in recent years.
forwardstl Flickr

In the 1990s crack cocaine was Iowa's major scourge when it came to illicit drugs. Today methamphetamine poses the most issues for communities and law enforcement though Eastern Iowa has also seen a uptick in heroin use.  Host Ben Kieffer looks at how these legal substances are trafficked into Iowa and from where the drugs originate.

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River to River
1:51 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Binge Drinking and Safety in Schools

According to a 2004 study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology on the trajectories of college students' drinking, students drink heaviest during Spring Break followed by New Year's week.
Torch Magazine

Last month the University of Iowa was ranked as the #1 party school by The Princeton Review.  Binge drinking is a problem on not only the Iowa City campus, but on college campuses across Iowa and the U.S. What is the nature of binge drinking and what can be done to curb it?

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River to River
1:40 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Homelessness in Iowa

A man sleeps on a bench in Downtown Iowa City on July 31, 2013. Sleeping on benches between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. would violate an ordinance the city council is considering and could result in a $65 fine.
Alan Light Flickr

According to a study by the Iowa Council on Homelessness, in 2011 roughly 17,900 individuals in Iowa were homeless at some point throughout that year.  What are the causes of homelessness and what can communities do to help? Also, Iowa City has a new ordinance which aims to further restrict panhandling in the downtown area. 

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River to River
2:36 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Prescription Drug Monitoring and Distracted Driving

Iowa's Capitol
John Pemble

Prescription drug abuse is one of the fastest growing substance abuse problems in the state. What are preventive measures doctors can take to keep these drugs from getting into the wrong hands? A bill that would mandate physicians check a database before prescribing certain medication to their patients is being discussed at the statehouse. Today on River to River, we talk about ways this could possibly help or get in the way of the patient/doctor relationship.

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River to River
2:41 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Gambling In Iowa

Limconcon Flickr

Forget about riverboats, online gaming is the new frontier when it comes to gambling in Iowa. Ben Kieffer discusses the future of gambling in Iowa and how the evolving regulation of online gaming may help or hinder the state’s gaming industry.

Then a University of Iowa researcher shares his new study that suggests more casinos do not necessarily equate more gamblers.

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