Health & Science

Survey Reveals Changing Attitudes about Opioids

Jan 19, 2018
Hydrocodone pills
Toby Talbot / AP

A new survey of likely West Virginia voters on the issues expected to come up during this year’s legislative session included some striking views on the state’s opioid epidemic.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Donald Trump has helped put the national spotlight on the Ohio Valley’s opioid crisis. But his record of action on the issue is mixed. As part of the series, One Year, Under Trump, Ohio Valley ReSource reporter Aaron Payne reports that public health officials in the region say they need more funding to back up the president’s promises.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The number of West Virginians who have died of opioid-related drug overdoses has climbed drastically every year for the past five years. West Virginia lawmakers say getting a handle on the state’s opioid epidemic is one of their top legislative priorities.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Kristin Phillips is one of two physical therapists in West Virginia specializing in women’s health. In the next episode of our occasional series, Windows into Health Care, health reporter Kara Lofton talks with Phillips about the main issues she sees in her practice. A warning to listeners, this interview includes detailed descriptions of women’s health issues and may not be appropriate for all listeners.

Opioids, opioid, painkillers, perscription, narcotics, doctors
Dollar Photo Club

Updated Friday January 12 at 4:18 p.m.

State health officials are proposing a multifaceted plan for confronting the drug crisis killing hundreds of West Virginians each year, one that would require action by everyone from lawmakers to doctors to judges to emergency responders to the general public.

Marcin Mincer / Wikimedia Commons

Ford is telling owners of about 2,900 Ranger small pickup trucks not to drive them after finding out that an exploding Takata air bag inflator killed a Ranger driver in West Virginia.

The death occurred July 1 in West Virginia, and Ford said it found out about it in December. After some investigation, the company determined that the truck's inflator was made on the same day as one that exploded and killed a South Carolina man driving a Ranger in 2016. So the company issued the urgent new recall for Rangers with inflators made on the same day.

Opioids
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

A federal judge on Tuesday likened the nation's opioid epidemic to the deadly 1918 flu pandemic while noting the drug crisis is "100 percent manmade."

Judge Dan Polster urged participants on all sides of lawsuits against drugmakers and distributors to work toward a common goal of reducing overdose deaths. He said the issue has come to courts because "other branches of government have punted" it.

Doctor Patient Health Care Coverage
Fæ / wikimedia commons

Monongalia County has begun construction on a new healthcare facility in Morgantown.

The new, two-story, 16,000 square-feet building will house physician clinics and an emergency medical services substation.

Many of us make New Year's resolutions. Few of us realize them. Maybe it would help to reframe how we handle our resolutions by thinking of them as goals instead.

What health goals will you reach for in 2018? And which, if any, will you discuss with your doctor?

pxhere.com

Throughout the Ohio Valley and West Virginia, thousands of children are in foster care -- and the opioid epidemic is sending thousands more to join them. In fact, in just the past year, West Virginia's foster care system alone saw an increase of 1,000 children entering care.

In 2016, West Virginia Public Broadcasting spoke with the Holbens, a former-foster family in Kearneysville, Jefferson County, to shed light on the struggles the opioid epidemic brings on foster care. We now check back in with that family and explore what lies ahead in combating this crisis.

Be sure to tune in for more on this subject during our nightly television program, The Legislature Today beginning January 11, 2018.

Anna's Army Raising Awareness for Rare Disease

Dec 25, 2017
Anna Gibson (right) talks during a Parkerburg South basketball game.
Melissa Gordon

One West Virginia community is making strides to find a cure for Friedreich's ataxia. Friedreich ataxia, or FA, is a rare degenerative neuromuscular disorder that affects one in 50,000 people in the United States.

Anna Gordon the summer before her freshman year of high school begun to notice that her balance was always off. The family searched for answers. After a year of testing, one geneticist changed the family forever when she wrote FA on a piece of paper and handed it to Missy Gordon, Anna’s mom.

Burned By Coal: Coalfield Communities Facing Electricity Price Hikes

Dec 23, 2017
Kentucky Power customers expressed frustration with proposed rate increases.
Mimi Pickering / WMMT

One evening this past November, angry customers and public officials filled a high school auditorium in Hazard, Kentucky, and took turns pleading with three members of the state’s public service commission.

Angie Hatton, a state legislator representing Letcher and Pike counties, presented the situation in historical terms. “This community that for two centuries has been powering our nation, we’re now struggling to keep our own lights on.”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, roughly 107 million Americans will hit the road this weekend for Christmas -- the most ever for holiday travel, according to AAA. But getting in the car can be dangerous -- hazardous for your health, even. Kara Lofton reports on one phenomenon you might not be that familiar with -- exploding sunroofs.

Cigarette, tobacco
nikkytok / Dollar Photo Club

The number of adults who smoke cigarettes in West Virginia has significantly declined since 2011.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human resources released new data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey by DHHR’s Health Statistics Center that shows a decrease in smoking adults of almost 4 percent from 2011 to 2016.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the science is clear -- addiction runs in families. It’s not just opioids, but alcohol and even tobacco use, too. Kara Lofton takes a look at multigenerational addiction in West Virginia and the challenges families face in breaking the cycle.

Us & Them : His Name's DJ

Dec 6, 2017
Mitch Hanley

We revisit the story of “Steve,” a young New Hampshire man that we met back in the spring of 2016. In our episode called “The Changing Face of Heroin,” we followed him and his father as he reported for the last visit of a court ordered drug rehab program. As you can imagine, kicking a powerful opioid habit isn’t easy, but in many ways our guy remained committed to the program.

The Green Bank Telescope at Green Bank Observatory
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The National Science Foundation heard public comments as part of a process to consider changes to the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia.

Fæ / wikimedia commons

West Virginia health officials are encouraging providers to ensure their patients over six months old get flu vaccinations.

alcoholic beverages
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia high school students can submit entries in an annual state-sponsored contest on the dangers of drinking and driving and underage alcohol consumption.

water faucet
wikimedia

West Virginia's U.S. senators say $6.65 million in federal rural development funding has been approved for building a new treatment plant and other upgrades for the water system in McMechen.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we'll hear about what's being done in the Ohio Valley to fight food insecurity among veterans. Napoleon famously said that an army marches on its stomach; troops must be fed in order to fight. But what happens when that army fights hunger back home?

Can West Virginia Shift Its Attitude Toward the Opioid Crisis?

Nov 28, 2017
Dollar Photo Club

Shawna Hardy grew up in the early 80s “on the hill.” That’s how family referred to her Grandma Helen’s property, a quasi-farm situated atop a steep hill in North-Central West Virginia. Her family lived in a trailer next to Grandma Helen, separated by a large field outlined with thick aluminum fencing that held a chicken coop, a salt lick for the cows, and a small barn for a temperamental palomino named Golden Boy.

Lyme, tick, Lyme disease, IDSA, infectious disease, WVU
Dollar Photo Club

Tick-borne Lyme disease has spread across West Virginia over the past six years with cases reported in 52 of the state's 55 counties, according to state health officials.

Most cases are reported in the northern and eastern panhandles probably because of their proximity to the high-incidence states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the Department of Health and Human Resources said.

Steve Helber / Associated Press

Several families impacted by flooding last year in West Virginia have received new homes.

WVVA-TV reports the Rainelle residents were handed keys to their homes on Monday. The homes have 8-foot (2-meter) support beams should severe weather come again.

A firetruck outside Smithers, WV, warns travelers of a mudslide that obscured half the road.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Firefighter training and certification are being offered during the West Virginia State Fire School next month.

The school runs from Dec. 1 to Dec. 3 and will be held in the Morgantown area. It is hosted by the West Virginia University Fire Extension Service.

A little spit may help predict whether a child's concussion symptoms will subside in days or persist for weeks.

A test that measures fragments of genetic material in saliva was nearly 90 percent accurate in identifying children and adolescents whose symptoms persisted for at least a month, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.

That's in contrast to a concussion survey commonly used by doctors that was right less than 70 percent of the time.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A group of teachers, public employees and retirees in West Virginia is objecting to proposed health insurance benefits cuts.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the group expressed its concerns Wednesday evening to the Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board at the last of five public hearings on the latest proposed cuts.

Rhoda Baer / Wikimedia Commons

A new mobile mammography vehicle will be offering screenings in West Virginia later this week.

The 45-foot vehicle called Bonnie's Bus will visit Ritchie County on Friday, a service of West Virginia University Medicine and the WVU Cancer Institute. The bus will be at the Ritchie Regional Health Center in Harrisville from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (304) 699-0947 for an appointment.

The Green Bank Telescope at Green Bank Observatory
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The National Science Foundation is evaluating options for West Virginia's Green Bank Observatory, ranging from collaboration with outside partners to continue its science and education mission to demolishing it.

Ken Bennett / Wake Forest University

A new study finds weight training might be better than cardio for older adults who are trying to slim down.

Researchers at Wake Forest University found that for adults in their 60s, combining weight training with a low-calorie diet better preserves necessary lean muscle mass that can often be lost through aerobic workouts.

Pages