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Kentucky

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Michael Donta, 24, tried to seek help for his prescription drug addiction but was never successful and he eventually took his own life in 2010.

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Recovery Kentucky centers opened across the state to help people break free of addiction and avoid chronic homelessness.

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Experts say it’s nearly impossible to compare the effectiveness of one drug-addiction treatment against another because so much depends on the needs of the addict — and there is debate about how well medication-assisted therapy works.

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In a state with one of the nation’s worst prescription-drug abuse problems, Kentucky's substance abuse programs often have long waiting lists, leaving those in need of help with nowhere to turn.

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Prescription drug addictions in Kentucky are at an all time high. Laura Ungar reports on how this epidemic also leads to higher crime rates in concentrated areas.

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Over the past two years, I’ve spoken with dozens of Kentuckians battling prescription drug abuse. All of the stories broke my heart. But they needed to be told.

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This is part of Laura Ungar's fellowship project, where she looks at how the addiction surge affects the next generation — newborns suffering drug withdrawal because of their mothers’ drug abuse.

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How will Kentucky find the money to care for babies born with drug withdrawal after being born to addicted mothers? Health officials say they can do only so much; a lot depends on the family.

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This is part of Laura Ungar's fellowship project, where she looks at how the addiction surge affects the next generation — newborns suffering drug withdrawal because of their mothers’ drug abuse.

Picture of Laura Ungar

Journalist Laura Ungar examines how drug addiction affects the next generation — newborns suffering drug withdrawal because of their mothers’ drug use.

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“Racism in medicine is a national emergency.” That’s how journalist Nicholas St. Fleur characterized the crisis facing American health care this spring, as his team at STAT embarked on “Color Code,” an eight-episode series exploring medical mistrust in communities of color across the country. In this webinar, we’ll take inspiration from their work to discuss strategies and examples for telling stories about inequities, disparities and racism in health care systems. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team.

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