addiction

Vinton County, Ohio, has been on the front lines of the opioid crisis in the U.S. for several years. The drugs may have changed over the years — from opioids to meth — but the devastating effects on families have not. And even though the county hasn't had high infection rates of the coronavirus, the necessary social restrictions have made it harder to keep people addicted to drugs and their children safe.

Sam Nugraha runs a rehab center in Indonesia, and to understand his approach to addiction, he says it's important to know something about his country.

Sometimes, Nugraha says, Indonesians smile when they aren't really smiling. They're smiling, but underneath the smile, they aren't.

"Because the culture tells us we have to be polite," he says, "when we don't know the answer, then we have to smile. When we feel threatened, we have to smile. In our culture we are not supposed to expose our shortcomings to other people."

Brianna Bailey / The Frontier

The City of Oklahoma City said it will take action if an ongoing U.S. Department of Labor investigation into the Firstep recovery program finds the program has violated any laws.

Brianna Bailey / The Frontier

Dustin Misener started using drugs in his early teens growing up in rural Oklahoma. By his 30s, he was battling an addiction to methamphetamine and had racked up multiple drug-related convictions in Oklahoma.

“I was just getting out there pretty bad,” Misener said.

Misener, 32, is a U.S. Army veteran. Now he works cutting grass and setting up stage equipment for concerts. His hands are lined and calloused from a life of hard work.

Lindsay Bunker woke up from a nightmare.

The 32-year-old lives with her sixth-month-old daughter on the Lac Courte Oreilles Indian Reservation in northern Wisconsin. She's struggled with addiction for over 10 years, mostly to heroin. Then came the nightmare: She dreamt two men were attacking her baby while she could think only about drugs.

"In my mind I was thinking, 'If I can just get one hit, if I can get one line, I can save her,'" she recalls, pausing before continuing, "I woke up and I was panicking. How can a mother think like that?"

When Maddy Nadeau was a toddler, her mother wasn't able to care for her. "I remember Mom was always locking herself in her room and she didn't take care of me. My mom just wasn't around at the time," she says.

Every day, her older sister Devon came home from elementary school and made sure Maddy had something to eat.

"Devon would come home from school and fix them cold hot dogs or a bowl of cereal — very simple items that both of them could eat," says Sarah Nadeau, who fostered the girls and later adopted them.

Jeff Tweedy's written a book that's incredibly open-hearted and honest.

Especially as the midterm elections approach, there's an unavoidable stream of news about politics in crisis: words like "polarization" and "tribalism" paint a portrait of voters retreating intransigently to their respective corners (or, more accurately, social media bubbles).

A new poll gives a clearer picture of what that "tribalism" looks like: Americans differ not just on their ideology or political team, but on the issues they view as problems.

Pew presented registered voters with 18 issues, asking those voters how big of a problem each issue is.

Rural Americans are preoccupied with the problems of opioid and drug addiction in their communities, citing it as a worry on par with concerns about local jobs and the economy, according to a new poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Oklahoma City in early 2018, and we're bringing you some of the stories that were recorded here. Locally recorded stories will air Wednesdays during Morning Edition and All Things Considered on KOSU.

Yvonne Munoz was angry when she arrived at ReMerge, a prison diversion program for women and mothers. She felt like the world had it out for her. But after she graduated the program, she realized she had something specific to give back: leadership from her own experience.

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