drug use & abuse

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.

amber e/ Love Nest

The holidays bring families together and sometimes that can cause stress.  In fact, navigating family togetherness when hurt and dysfunction abounds can seem impossible.

Scott* / flickr

We continue our series on corrections in Iowa by talking about mandatory minimum sentences. What is the goal of mandatory sentences and how effective are they? What are their legal, social and economic impacts?

In the second half hour, host Ben Kieffer takes a look at Iowa’s special courts – drug courts and mental health courts, for example. We find out how they work differently than conventional courts, the case for how special courts save lives and money, and why several drug courts in the state have closed.

States are forming health insurance exchanges in advance of a mandate from the federal government.  Host Joyce Russell talks about the bill to set up Iowa’s exchange.  Then, we talk about efforts to put further restrictions on synthetic marijuana, or K2.  That comes after a death, and several hospitalizations involving Iowa teenagers.

Heroin in Iowa

Jan 26, 2012

Deaths from heroin overdoses have spiked in Iowa in recent months and the Drug Enforcement Agency reports a cheaper, more potent version of the drug is in the state. We'll examine the drug's prevalence with Dale Woolery of the Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy and Kelly Reitzler of the Area Substance Abuse Council in Cedar Rapids.

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