Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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

Search results for "drug users" ...

  • They Shared Drugs. Someone Died. Does That Make Them Killers?

    This was a year-long investigation of the prosecution of accidental drug overdoses as homicides. It is the first and only story to attempt to quantify the national scale of this emerging trend using court data. It also involved a review of 82 individual cases in Pennsylvania to examine where defendants fit on the user-dealer continuum and whether they were drug users themselves.
  • The Grim Sleeper

    Pelisek's story details a secret the Los Angeles police were shielding from the public: "that a serial murderer had begun killing Angelenos since 1985, taking a 13-year hiatus before recently resuming his bloody assaults almost exclusively in a poor, black sector of the city." DNA evidence linked a single killer to several murders of mostly young women, drug users and prostitutes. It was Pelisek that informed families of some of the victims that their daughters' murder was the work of a serial killer.
  • Drug war enforcement hits minorities hardest

    "According to federal data, blacks make up just 13 percent of the nation's illicit drug users, but they are 32 percent of those arrested for drug violations and 53 percent of those incarcerated in state prisons for drug crimes. ... The story explains why such disparities exist by examining the different ways drugs are sold in urban areas compared with suburban areas, and the different ways law enforcement respond to drug crimes in those areas."
  • OxyContin Investigation

    A WWL-TV investigation discovers that OxyContin, a powerful painkiller popular among drug users, could be easily obtained by prescription from certain doctors. Those were writing prescriptions after performing only cursory physicals, and their offices were crowded by drug addicts until late in the night. Many prescriptions have been filled through Medicaid, WWL-TV reports. The investigation sheds light on one specific case - those of Dr. Jacqueline Cleggett - who wrote an OxyContin prescription to a patient whose son died from an injected overdose.
  • Dragged into Drug Court

    Governing examines the effectiveness of drug courts that have been evolving over the past decade as special courts to deal with drug users. The article reveals that the vast majority of the drug courts studied "failed to track the status of the program participants after they left treatment" and "made no comparison of arrest rates of participants to nonparticipants after the conclusion of the treatment program." The story exposes the lack of recidivism rates throughout the country. The voices some judges' criticism that "drug courts are a waste of time and money" but also acknowledges a major advantage - that drug courts keep drug users out of incarceration and from continuing to use drugs, thus saving thousands of prison and jail days.
  • America's Shadow Drug War

    In this group of stories Time examines the effectiveness of America's "war on drugs" at home and in South America. Ramo investigates the shoot-down of an unarmed American missionary plane over Peru by American and Peruvian anti-drug forces. American anti-drug spending is about $1.9 billion a year and government officials are still convinced that air surveillance and crop eradication methods will work in South America. In the second story Ripley profiles the American missionary, Vernoica Bowers, who was killed along with her seven-month-old daughter when their plane was shot down by Peruvian anti-drug forces. The last piece, written by Margot Roosevelt, looks at America's stance on drug offenders and mandatory drug sentencing in relation with the second Bush Administration. The story finds that many states are finding treatment alternatives for drug offenders instead of locking them up. The piece contains a follow-up story by Davis on the cycle of addiction that many drug users face.
  • Tardy Oversight

    A Star-Telegram investigation examines how "child molesters, rapists, drug users and thieves have remained certified as Texas teachers - sometimes for years - because of a backlog at the state agency [the State Board for Educator Certification] that oversees educator credentials." The reporters' analysis of more than 9,000 cases at the state board finds that " the delays have opened the door for predators to have easy access to children by allowing them to quietly change schools or to obtain credentials in other states." Some of the major findings are that "more than 900 cases were pending against Texas educators, ... some ... dated to 1988," and that "nearly 30 registered sex offenders still hold their credentials." The investigation reveals that "almost 40 percent of those accused were ultimately cleared by the state." It also provides a step-by-step tutorial for parents to check the status of their children's teachers.
  • Kids First?

    Sharfstein investigates the vaccination process for the Hepatitis B virus, which is 100 times more contagious than HIV. In this report, he writes that more funds are allotted to vaccinate children, who are at low risk for the virus, instead of intravenous drug users, prostitutes and others who are at a higher risk.
  • Killing them softly

    The Clinton administration says giving clean needles to drug users will slow the spread of AIDS and save lives. But former addicts -- and the specialists who treat them -- tell Policy Review that the sanctioned supplies will only strengthen the soul-destroying culture of addiction.
  • (Untitled)

    Free Press explores the history and inadequacies of confiscating the property of supposed drug users; reporters find that in a majority of cases, "drug users" are never convicted yet cannot get their property back, October - November 1993.