Addiction

Traci Jordan (Left)  and Kacy Keith (Right) sit together
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly named Kenzie House as Sober Beginning's third sober home. Kacy Keith and Traci Jordan recently opened Ruthie House.

Three new sober homes have opened in Billings this summer. The women behind them say dorm-style houses offer a safe space for people working through addiction. But some treatment providers say sober living homes are part of a larger system of treatment that needs improvement.

Unused Drug Test
Micah Baldwin / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)


A comprehensive assessment of drug abuse in Yellowstone County confirms the area is seeing a rise in drug-related offenses, but it also shows a related growth in child neglect cases.

Charles Bowers takes long, quick strides down a worn, dirt path and stops in front of a tall thicket of bushes. He lifts a hand to signal that he's spied something.

He's leading me on a tour of camps made by homeless people in wooded corners of Fayette County, Kentucky, and there, slightly up the hill, is a patch of blue. A tent.

He keeps his voice low to avoid startling those inside.

Kayla Desroches / YPR

A national non-profit organization with a focus on physical exercise as an alternative to 12-step recovery programs for people who struggle with addiction recently opened a Billings branch.

As the nation faces an epidemic of opioid drug abuse after a decade of aggressively prescribing narcotics , Montana doctors are becoming more cautious about giving painkillers to chronic pain patients.

It’s changing some patients ability to get treatment and what is considered compassionate care for chronic pain.

Doctors in Montana are cutting down on the amount of painkillers they’re prescribing in response to the nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse, and that’s having some unintended consequences.

By the time Elvis Rosado was 25, he was addicted to opioids and serving time in jail for selling drugs to support his habit.

"I was like, 'I have to kick this, I have to break this,' " he says.

For Rosado, who lives in Philadelphia, drugs had become a way to disassociate from "the reality that was life." He'd wake up physically needing the drugs to function.

His decision to finally stop using propelled him into another challenging chapter of his addiction and one of the most intense physical and mental experiences he could have imagined: detoxing.

A one-paragraph letter, barely a hundred words long, unwittingly became a major contributor to today's opioid crisis, researchers say.

"This has recently been a matter of a lot of angst for me," Dr. Hershel Jick, co-author of that letter, told Morning Edition host David Greene recently. "We have published nearly 400 papers on drug safety, but never before have we had one that got into such a bizarre and unhealthy situation."

The Montana Healthcare Foundation announced today a series of listening sessions across the state to assess the impact of substance abuse on Montana communities.

Earlier this year, Montana’s Attorney General Tim Fox launched Aid Montana, a statewide initiative combining enforcement, treatment and education efforts to tackle drug abuse. 

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