Resource Center


The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "substance abuse programs" ...

  • Addicted Nurses, a statewide investigation

    A yearlong investigation by The News Leader started with a database hand built from thousands of pages of disciplinary records and expanded into interviews with addicted nurses themselves and dozens of experts. The team found that 900 nurses statewide have been publicly disciplined since 2007 for stealing patients narcotics or using drugs (even more are in confidential treatment). Many of the nurses went back to seeing patients during a poorly managed monitoring program, or sometimes the state just lost track of them altogether. The investigation and deep explanation of the problem, with stories of the struggles of individual nurses, is leading to change statewide, including the governor's call for a background check law for nursing license applicants and his proposal to add funding to the Board of Nursing.

    Tags: narcotics; Nurses; addiction; substance abuse; treatment

    By Patricia Borns; William Ramsey; Jennie Coughlin;

    The News Leader


  • A Vicious Cycle: Broken Homes, Deadly Streets, Shattered Lives.

    The 54 minute documentary “A Vicious Cycle” is a groundbreaking and deeply personal look at the causes and impact of violent crime in the St. Louis area, which includes East St. Louis and Washington Park, Illinois, the communities with the highest murder rates in America. The documentary is the result of five months of investigation and interviews with victims, their families, former gang leaders, police, and social workers. The program is divided into four segments; (1) overview with victims and a deep look at causes of violent crime, (2) unprecedented access with one St. Louis family with 2 sons behind bars and the father of 1 son also in prison, (3) an inside look at how police are fighting crime, (4) and the emotional ending focusing on social programs that successfully bring broken families together. In 2011, there were 11 murders in Washington Park, Illinois, 1 for every 370 residents, which is 8 times the murder rate of St. Louis, a city that has one of the highest murder rates in the country. We explore the many contributing factors in the region's most violent neighborhoods, including extreme poverty, lower levels of education and home ownership, single parent families and segregation. We also examine the life of a former gang leader who was arrested more than 40 times, including arrests for 2 murders. A unique part of our program is a deeply personal investigation of the destruction of one St. Louis family. That segment, part two of our program, is 13 minutes long. The mother agreed to talk about her family because of the “pull of the streets” that lured all 3 of her sons into a gang. Our investigation learned that it was the collapse of the family, particularly their mother’s mental problems and substance abuse that really pushed the boys into the streets to find more structure and a sense of family. What follows is a rare look inside a family in crisis, featuring on-camera interviews behind bars with two sons and the father. One son is mentally ill, suicidal and has 7 children. During the interviews we learn that the root of the family’s collapse was the mother’s repeated abuse and neglect when she was a young child. The segment also includes interviews with the victims of other son’s violent crimes, including a murder he committed when he was just 19.

    Tags: crime; violent crime;

    By Craig Cheatham

    KMOV (St. Louis, MO)


  • Mental Anguish and the Military

    Army studies show that 20-25 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq show symptoms of serious mental health problems, including depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. Government officials say that the military has programs to treat these soldiers, but National Public Radio's investigation at Colorado Springs' Fort Carson found that "these programs are not working." Soldiers who are desperate and suicidal even have trouble getting the necessary help. Furthermore, "evidence suggests that officers at Ft. Carson punish soldiers who need help, and even kick them out of the Army." In the wake of the report, three senators - Barbara Boxer, Christopher Bond and Barack Obama - wrote a letter to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs seeking clarification of the reports.

    Tags: Post-traumatic stress disorder; Iraq War; Fort carson; Department of Veterans' Affairs

    By Daniel Zwerdling; Anne Hawke; Ellen Weiss

    National Public Radio


  • Steroids and the NFL

    This investigation exposed steroid and human growth hormone abuse by several professional football players who received prescriptions from a doctor who was subsequently indicted for prescribing them. The NFL drug testing program failed to detect the players' steroid use. This failure exposed loopholes in the NFL's substance abuse policies.

    Tags: football; NFL; steroids; drug testing; performance enhancing drugs; human growth hormone

    By Anderson Cooper;Andy Court;Keith Sharman;Jeff Fager;Patti Hassler

    CBS News 60 Minutes II (New York, NY)


  • Behind the Prop

    California's Proposition 36 aims to help drug offenders out of prison, saving the taxpayers millions. But as Stephen James uncovers, the goal of this plan isn't necessarily fulfilled. Proposition 36, also known as the Substance Abues and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 (SACPA), received great praise from its sponsor, the Drug Policy Alliance, who said that the plan would save California taxpayers $1.5 billion over five years. But James discovers that the law just may be a very expensive failure. SACPA allows for criminal offenders convicted of nonviolent drug possession to be sentenced to drug teatment instead of probation without treatment or jail time. James found that only about 10 percent of SACPA defendants actually complete the entire program.

    Tags: Proposition 36; drug offenders; incarceration costs; inmate drug treatment; SACPA; Substance Abuses and Crime Prevention Act of 2000

    By Stephen James

    Sacramento News & Record


  • Prescription for Pain

    The stories demonstrated that Eastern Kentucky led the nation in the distribution of prescription narcotics-much of it illegal. Reporters found a series of unlikely accomplices to the illegal trafficing including the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. Local cops were corrupt or compromised and a $30 million federal enforcement effort was rendered ineffective by a lack of cooperation among the police agencies involved. The reports found an elected judge who admitted that he'd had private business dealings with rug dealers and was unilaterally lowering drug offenders' sentences set by plea bargains. The reporters also found that effecive drug treatment was hard to find in rural areas of Kentucky. The newspaper also produced an examination of how OxyContin was marketed through "detailing," the practice of sending sales men directly into doctor's offices. The reporting also took readers inside one local drug ring. Finally, the newspaper examined how public Medicaid payments were providing some rural Kentucy drug dealsers with millions of silent partners-U.S. taxpayers- who were helping to ensure their supply.

    Tags: prescription narcotis; illegal trafficking; federal Drug Enforcement Administration; OxyContin; painkillers; FBI; methanphetamine; taxpayers; medicaid; substance abuse; rural Kentucky; Social Security Administrationn; drug traffickers; drug abuse; lortab; tylox; xanax; cocaine; marijuana; Lee County Sheriff's Department; Beattyville; Beattyville Police; Operation Grinch; Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program; HIDTA; Kentucky State Police; Office of National Drug Control Policy

    By Bill Estep;Tom Lasseter;Linda J. Johnson;Lee Mueller;Charles B. Camp

    Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)


  • A Place Where Children Die

    The investigation found that children on the Warm Springs Reservation in central Oregon die at a rate more than three times that for Oregon and nearly twice for Native Americans nationwide. Many of the deaths of 58 children since 1990 occurred because tribal leaders have not pursued basic steps proven to reduce mortality rates on reservations. Some causes for the deaths are due to a lack of seatbelt laws, scaling back of sobriety checkpoints, and failures in the child welfare system.

    Tags: Warm Springs Reservation; Oregon reservation; Native American; child mortality; traffic accidents; child welfare system; alcohol; tribal leaders; child safety; sobriety checkpoints; seat-belt law; Warm Springs Early Childhood Education programs; Indian communities; Indian Health Service; tribal Children's Protective Services; Warm Springs Fire and Safety; Boys and Girls Club; Warm Springs Elementary; The Rainbow Market; Oregon Liquor Control Commission; substance abuse programs; tribal budget; Portland's Rose Garden sports arena

    By Brent Walth;Kim Christensen;Julie Sullivan

    Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)


  • Attorneys gone worng

    A Columbus Monthly investigation sheds light on a respected Columbus law professor's misconduct, which "may be his last, most memorable act as an attorney." The story details how Louis Bernard LaCour, a church leader and a prominent member of the black community, has collected fees from local residents for five years after their case against the Georgia-Pacific had been dismissed. The report looks at several other cases in Ohio, involving theft of client funds or client neglect, and explains the disciplinary process against such types of misconduct. According to some estimates cited in the analysis, 20 percent of all attroneys and judges suffer from alcoholism and other drug dependencies.

    Tags: judges; courts; bar associations; disbarment; substance abuse; Ohio Layers Assistance Program; law

    By Jeff Parker

    Columbus Monthly


  • Methadone: craving the cure

    The Evansville Courier investigates the opening of several methadone clinics across the state of Indiana. Started to offer free methadone to recovering heroine addicts, the clinics are supposed to be part of a drug rehabilitation program; however, heroine is not a large problem in Indiana. The clinics encourage methadone addiction among other, drug addicts and encourage "methadone entrepreneurs" to make huge profits off others' drug problems.

    Tags: Substance abuse Drug enforcement

    By Beck

    Courier (Evansville, Ind.)