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 "overdoses" ...

  • The Price of Prisons

    This series of stories, reported over the course of more than six months, examined an out-of-sight, out-of-mind state prison system in Arizona that housed inmates under brutal conditions fostering self-harm, that allowed deadly drugs to flow in from the outside, that left inmates to die from treatable medical conditions and that failed to protect inmates from prison predators. It revealed that over the prior two years needless, preventable deaths had claimed at least five times as many Arizona inmates (37) as had been executed from death row (7), but that systematic cover-ups by the Department of Corrections of the causes of death likely obscured additional preventable death. It revealed a prison suicide rate 60 percent above the national prison average, largely due to the practice of confining mentally-ill prisoners in maximum-security isolation that aggravated their conditions. It revealed how inmates had ready access to heroin, with at least seven lives claimed by overdoses in two years; how shortfalls in medical care, often led to needless suffering, expensive medical complications and death; and how a failure to control prison gangs helped lead to a homicide rate more than double the national correctional average.
  • Uncounted Casualties

    A three-day series that analyzed causes of death for 266 Texas veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. The six-month investigation uncovered previously unknown information, pulling data from a variety of federal, state and local sources. The series, which also depended on extensive interviews with family members and fellow service members, revealed the startling number of Texas veterans dying of prescription drug overdoses, suicides and motor vehicle crashes. The newspaper's analysis was hailed by epidemiologists and former Department of Veterans Affairs researchers as an important step in understanding veteran mortality, and led to calls for better government tracking of how veterans are dying.
  • Methadone, a Costly Fix

    A News Tribune investigation found that methadone treatment in Minnesota is widely abused, has led to overdoses and deaths, sees few complete the treatment, has dealers selling the drug on the streets, and costs taxpayers millions each year.
  • The Radiation Boom

    The reporter provides insight into the medical community's inadequate safety protections. Within these hospitals, the reporter documents the number of patients burned by the radiation of new machines, little government oversight,poorly trained personnel, and outdated equipment.
  • Medicating the Military

    The stories looked at the nature and scope of the use of prescription drugs in the military community, with a focus on psychiatric medications and painkillers. The reporting found that use of psychiatric medications has risen dramatically in the past several years and some doctors suggest it may be a factor in the military's suicide epidemic of recent years. Reporters found that many psychiatric drugs - including powerful anti-convulsants and anti-psychotic medications - were being used "off label", or in ways not formally approved by the FDA. Reporters found that many troops were taking up to 10 medications at a time in so-called drug cocktails that experts say are untested and unproven in these combinations. Reporters also found that deaths caused by accidental drug overdoses had tripled during the past several years and that the Army's specialty care units were quietly conducting internal investigations and making significant changes to hospital protocols to reduce risk of accidental deaths. Finally, they found that psychiatric drug usage was also up significantly among military children.
  • Pain Killers

    The York Daily Record reports about 20 people that have died from a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs between 2001 and 2002. According to the story "the federal government has identify Pennsylvania as one of several states with a substantial prescription drug problem. However the state does not track the specific drugs responsible in fatal drug overdoses." In 11 of the 20 prescription drug cases, "the York County coroner found OxyContin or oxycodone in the people's systems or among the drugs that they were taking."
  • The New Addition

    Abuse of prescription narcotics in Las Vegas has risen and lead to the quadrupling of fatal overdoses since the decade before. "The trend reflects the extraordinarily high use of narcotic painkillers by Nevadans," that ranks them "fourth nationally in per person consumption of methadone, morphine and oxycodone."
  • The Irsay Investigation

    This is a year-long investigation into one of Indiana's most high-profile citizens: Colt's owner Jim Irsay. The investigation revealed a long history of prescription drug abuse, including brushes with the law and several serious overdoses. Irsay contended that it was a personal issue, and so the story was never aired. That is, not until WTHR learned that he was at the center of a DEA investigation into possible prescription fraud.
  • Prison addicts: On Dope Row

    Insight reports on inmates' deaths caused by drug overdoses in state prisons. The story finds that at least 188 prisoners died during the last decade; state prisons lack aggressive and competent drug screening policies; and states are not required to track the number of fatal drug overdoses or confiscated drugs cases. Meanwhile, administrators deny that their prisons have a drug problem.
  • OxyContin

    CBS News reports on the controversy surrounding miracle/menace drug OxyContin. With the number of prescriptions skyrocketing, the number of addicts and overdoses has been too. Many rural areas have been severely affected, leading to drastic increases in robberies and other OxyContin-related crimes. Opponents blame the pharmaceutical company's heavy marketing campaign; supporters say it's still a miracle drug when it comes to controlling pain.