New Study Finds Link Between Drug Epidemic & Rise in Organ Donors


On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from detainees and soldiers who were held or worked in Guantanamo Bay Detention Center; the latest on new tariffs for steel and aluminum imports; and we hear how a new study found a link between drug overdose deaths in the U.S. to an increase in organ donors.

President Trump has postponed a decision on which countries will be subject to new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. As Becca Schimmel reports, regional industry leaders say they’re disappointed by the delay.

A new study finds that the epidemic of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. has led to an increase in organ donors. Despite previous stigma attached to using organs from overdose donors, the study indicates that outcomes from related transplants are highly successful. Kara Lofton reports that in West Virginia, around a third of organs used in transplants are from overdose donors.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from Marshall Health, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.

The U.S. Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is the longest-standing war prison in our nation’s history. Since the launch of the so-called “War on Terror,” about 800 men have been held there without legal process or restraint on interrogation. Some former detainees describe “Gitmo” as “Hell on Earth” and have spent years recovering from physical and mental scars sustained during internment.

Some U.S. military guards are also struggling to make sense of experiences there.

In a recent episode of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Us & Them podcast, host Trey Kay spoke with former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg and his military guard Albert Melise.

To hear the entire story, from the Us & Them podcast, click here. You can also tune in to West Virginia Public Broadcasting on Thursday, May 3 at 8:00 p.m.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Our news director is Jesse Wright. Our producer is Glynis Board.