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 "substance abuse" ...

  • Synthetics & The New Drug War

    NBC Washington created the most comprehensive site available anywhere on the Internet about synthetic drugs following a record-breaking year in the DC region for overdoses and violent crimes connected to these ever-changing chemical cocktails. While the rest of the nation grappled with the opioid epidemic, EMS crews in our region responded to 10x as many emergency calls for synthetic overdoses compared to heroin overdoses, heart attacks and strokes this year. By combining ten different investigations with multiple interactive features, including the first-of-its kind "synthetic drug dictionary," NBC Washington helped parents, teachers, policy makers and the police themselves understand how dangerous these drugs really are and why law enforcement just can't seem to catch up in this new drug war. http://data.nbcstations.com/national/DC/synthetic-drugs/
  • Profiting from Prisoners: Time Is Money

    "Time Is Money" takes the audience inside prisons, vendors’ operations and families’ homes to reveal a growing structural inequity in society: As mass incarceration stretches corrections department budgets, prisons are cutting back on basic services like providing toilet paper, winter clothes and substance abuse counseling for inmates, forcing families to close the gap. They end up paying into a hidden pipeline of cash flowing directly from relatives’ pockets into a hidden, multi-billion dollar pipeline of cash -- facilitated by financial companies -- to the coffers of prisons and the vendors they employ.
  • Mixed Signals on Substance Abuse at San Diego State

    Following the repercussions of an undercover police drug raid in 2008, San Diego State crime statistics took an interesting turn. After the peak six years ago, the amount of alcohol-related incidents (DUI, Drunk and Disorderly, MIP, and more) steadily dropped, while the amount of students requiring medical transports for alcohol- or drug-related conditions skyrocketed. Madison Hopkins and Leonardo Castaneda, two editors at San Diego State's independent student newspaper, The Daily Aztec, investigated the reasoning behind this trend and what it meant for students.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Struggling to Understand

    The story takes an investigative look at the personal struggles of the recent suicide victims in a small seaside New Jersey town and examined how the school and community at large responded to what is for New Jersey an unprecedented public health crisis. While each case involved a unique set of circumstances, the reporters found that a history of mentalillness, alcohol and drug abuse -- and a community all to willing to turn a blind eye to teen substance abuse -- played a role in the majority of the deaths.
  • "Drinking at Duke"

    In this two-part series, Sanette Tanaka examines the alcohol policy and drinking culture at Duke University. The reporter reveals differences in drinking policies between private and public universities, as well as examines the effectiveness of the "new associate dean," who has implemented an "education-based harm-reduction model" in an effort to curb "binge drinking among students."
  • 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.
  • Nevadans live hard, risk lives

    "Using mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control, a Sun analysis found that Nevadans and Clark County residents die younger and at higher rates of suicide, substance abuse and certain chronic illnesses compared with the rates nationally and in other large counties."
  • Patients in the Dark

    The story investigated what patients aren't being told about their doctors, and what they are unable to find out even if they ask. Utah law prevents patients knowing whether a doctor is currently in treatment for substance abuse, or has been in the past, hospital disciplinary history, basic information about malpractice suits etc. The Physicians Licensing Board, meanwhile, seldom severely restricts the practice of even the most troubled doctor, preferring to provide repeated 'second' chances.