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 "overdose" ...

  • CNN Exclusive: The more opioids doctors prescribe, the more money they make

    As tens of thousands of Americans die from prescription opioid overdoses each year, an exclusive analysis by CNN and researchers at Harvard University found that opioid manufacturers are paying physicians huge sums of money -- and the more opioids a doctor prescribes, the more money he or she makes. In 2014 and 2015, opioid manufacturers paid hundreds of doctors across the country six-figure sums for speaking, consulting and other services. Thousands of other doctors were paid over $25,000 during that time. Physicians who prescribed particularly large amounts of the drugs were the most likely to get paid.
  • WEWS-TV: Prescription for Failure

    In the last two decades, prescription opioids have taken an unrelenting hold on Ohio. The opioid crisis has claimed the lives of thousands of users, landing Ohio on a top five list no one wants to be on: the most opioid-related overdose deaths in the country. For years, media across the country and the state have reported about the devastating impacts of the crisis, but during its exclusive investigation, the WEWS 5 On Your Side Investigative team was the first to uncover the “why.” The team spent six months tracing the opioid crisis to its beginning as well as examining how the state medical board, the group charged with regulating doctors, played a role.
  • ABC's 20/20: What Really Killed Prince

    ABC's 20/20 travels across the country and to China investigating fentanyl, the drug that killed Prince and has been linked to thousands of deaths in the U.S.
  • 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.
  • Heroin Hits Home: A Search for Answers

    Ohio is ground zero of the heroin/opiate epidemic. More people die from overdoses in our state than any other (including California, which has three times our population.). WJW-Cleveland has covered the rise of the epidemic for years, but pivot here to where they think, at times, investigative journalism should go: searching for answers to problems that they reveal. In this case, those problems include: 1) a government policy that encourages doctors to prescribe more opiates in the middle of a heroin crisis; 2) a system that, on the federal level, treats marijuana very differently from opiates - many patients and some lawmakers believe legalized medical marijuana may well reduce the opiate epidemic; 3) a prioritization of public health policy that seems upside down: why is more money given to diseases that kill few Americans compared to one that is on track to become a "Vietnam" every year:? The DEA estimated 47,000 Americans would die from an overdose in 2016. Given that incredible number, they think that just reporting on the crisis as reporters do car accident deaths is today insufficient journalism. So we set out in a prime-time program to search for answers.
  • Heart of the Epidemic - West Virginia's Opioid Addiction

    Over the past five years, prescription drug abuse has become a raging epidemic in this country. Seventy-eight Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Prescription rates for oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone have quadrupled in the last sixteen years. Over five million people in this country are addicted to prescription pain meds. No state has felt the effects of this more than West Virginia. With the highest rate of prescription overdose deaths in the nation and the highest rate of use, this tiny state of 1.8 million sits at the heart of the epidemic. Driving these troubling statistics are the corrupt doctors, greedy pharmacists and negligent drug wholesalers who form the pill mill chains that indiscriminately prescribe and hand out pain meds for profit. With West Virginia serving as an extreme reflection of the country's spiraling rates of opioid addiction, CBS News set out to drill down into the layers of the state's epidemic.
  • Heroin: Killer of a generation

    Confronted by a nationwide heroin epidemic in a county known as the nation's rehab capital, The Palm Beach Post exposed the sordid underbelly of the unregulated sober home business, identified bogus addiction treatment lab tests and created the state’s first and only cost analysis of the heroin epidemic. The Post's reporting culminated with publication of the photographs and mini-profiles of all of the 216 people who died from heroin-related overdoses in Palm Beach County in 2015. Federal and state officials arrested sober home operators, and county, state and federal lawmakers pledged action to curb the epidemic and treatment abuses. http://apps.mypalmbeachpost.com/ourdead/
  • Politics of Pain

    “Politics of Pain,” a multi-part investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and The Associated Press, examines the politics behind the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic, with a unique look at how drugmakers and their allies sought to block and delay legislation and thwart other steps intended to combat opioid abuse while pushing their own profitable but unproven remedies. Drug companies and allied advocates spent more than $880 million on lobbying and political contributions at the state and federal level over the past decade, more than eight times what the formidable gun lobby recorded for political activities during the same period. Using a network of paid allies, drugmakers also created an echo chamber that quietly derailed efforts to curb U.S. consumption of the drugs while pushing new, harder-to-abuse formulations of their products that have not been proven to reduce overdose rates.
  • The Triangle

    “The Triangle” is a five-episode web series that uncovered a more than 4000% increase in heroin-related deaths during the last five years. Our investigation started with a tip that two young people died from overdoses in Atlanta’s wealthy suburbs but no one was talking about it. A team of journalists confirmed that. We also identified a geographic region where the deaths were so hidden even some law enforcement agencies were unable to accurately attribute them to heroin. https://vimeo.com/198370121/dd0b282d3a
  • Painkiller Profiteers

    The Gazette-Mail tracked the deluge of prescription opioids into West Virginia, following them to individual counties, pharmacies and families. The newspaper's investigation found that drug distributors shipped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to West Virginia in just six years, a period when 1,728 people fatally overdosed on those two painkillers.