public health

Public Domain

Adults with disabilities often face long waiting lists for services or placements in group homes. This leaves parents filling the role of primary caregiver, often with little outside help.

In recent years, there have been multiple incidents of parents in the Chicago suburbs killing their adult children with disabilities and then killing themselves or trying to kill themselves. 

These tragedies prompted the Daily Herald to look at the pressures caregiver parents face. Marie Wilson wrote a series of stories on that topic. Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn talked with Wilson about her stories. 

Democratic leaders in the legislature and Gov. Bruce Rauner appear to be close to a deal to approve some funding for social service providers, higher education, capital construction and state operations. The proposal would also fund K-12 schools for all of next fiscal year.

But the plan can’t erase the destruction caused by the state going for a year without a budget.​​

A new law makes a drug that counteracts opioid overdose easier to get. But is that enough?

Northlake resident Steve Kamenicky is lucky to be alive.

He’s 58 years old and says he’s used heroin for 46 years, starting at age 12. He has overdosed several times and nearly died, but he survived because of the medication naloxone hydrochloride, also known by the brand name Narcan. 

Illinois State Police

The state’s heroin crisis has captured headlines and the attention of lawmakers. But in the past few years, the number of methamphetamine lab busts has crept back up, and law enforcement officials say the drug is also coming into the state from Mexico. 

flickr/ Howard Weliver

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recommended that the city of Galesburg offer residents bottled water or filters after tap water there tested for high levels of lead.  

Muhammad Mahdi Karim

As summer comes to the Midwest, it brings mosquitoes with it. This year, it also brings fears of the Zika virus, which has been linked to serious birth defects in South America. 

Lilong Dolrani

When the state finally has a budget, who will be left out?

Pill bottle
Charles Williams

After the state eliminated a grant that supports psychiatric care, providers worry patients may be cut off from medication and other treatment.

Jamey Dunn
mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

  A recent change in regulatory rules meant to encourage fracking well operators to recycle wastewater in drought-stricken Texas could be contributing to a newly detected threat to public health.

A rare respiratory illness continues to spread. The Centers for Disease Control has confirmed the first case in New Jersey. But it's hard to tell the status of the outbreak in Illinois. The state was one of the first to have confirmed cases of the enterovirus strain.

It was in mid-to-late August when a Chicago hospital noticed a surge in patients with respiratory problems. The Centers for Disease Control confirmed that of the 14 specimens submitted, 11 tested positive for what is known as enterovirus D68.

A doctor examines a patient at the Planned Parenthood Clinic in  Chicago’s Loop.
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

After automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequester caused a week of delayed and canceled flights that annoyed travelers nationwide, Congress quickly passed legislation to fix that problem. 

Jamey Dunn
mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Most adults, especially parents, likely think it would be best for teenagers to abstain from sex until they are old enough to deal with the potential outcomes, such as pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection or emotional trauma. Nevertheless, teenagers are having sex.