Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Schools aren't the only institutions concerned about mass shootings.

Many churches and businesses are offering employees and volunteers active shooter training.

Kids who are prescribed medical marijuana might be allowed to use the drug on school grounds under a Illinois proposal. The legislation would allow parents to give cannabis medication to those kids if and when they need it.

Two men - one wanted for murder - are in custody after a drug bust in Marion Thursday.

The Marion Police Narcotics Unit raided two homes on West Boulevard Street. Investigators say heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana, cash, and ammunition were all found in addition to the two suspects.

The Illinois Department of Human Services has hired a Boston-based company to run an opioid help hotline despite receiving proposals from at least three Illinois providers.

Drug Arrests in Energy

Dec 21, 2017

A traffic stop led to the drug arrest of two southern Illinois men in Williamson County.

The opioid epidemic continues to sweep across Illinois and the rest of the nation, now declared a public health emergency. But, some believe medical marijuana could be the solution.

The Illinois General Assembly has approved legislation intended to make it easier to hold drug dealers accountable when their customers overdose.
After eight years in the Army, Evan Rushing had PTSD. One day last year, he drove to St. Louis to buy heroin. It was a bad batch; he overdosed and died.

Two people are in custody in Jefferson County after an explosive device was found inside a residence.

Deputies say at around 7:30 Monday evening, they and other area law enforcement agencies served a search warrant for drugs and explosives on North Stratford Lane in Jefferson County.

Drug Takeback Day Set for April 29

Apr 28, 2017
US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration

Police departments around the country are joining together to help get unused, unwanted, and expired medicine out of peoples' homes - in an environmentally friendly way.

Need to get rid of old, unused, or expired medication? Local police departments can take care of that for you Saturday.

Sam Werkmeister, a father of two, nearly died six times last year.

He started taking pain pills to get through shifts at a restaurant. That led him to a full-blown addiction to opioids. After a relapse last summer, it took Werkmeister six months to gather the courage to go back into treatment. 

“It’s called carfentanil, and it’s really cheap,” he said, as he sat on a worn couch in the Granite City group home he shares with a half dozen other men. “It destroyed my life.”

Two people have been arrested after a traffic stop that resulted in a high speed chase.

The Energy Police Department says law enforcement arrested the driver of the vehicle, 36-year-old Genie Marion of Murphysboro, and her passenger, 30-year-old Michael Chappell of Murphysboro.

Updated at 4:16 p.m. Sept. 2 with information from pharmacies — According to a spokesperson with the state department that oversees the Missouri Board of Pharmacy, Missouri pharmacies do not have to wait for final rules from the board before distributing the opioid overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription.

“The new provisions are ‘self-executing’ and do not require a Board rule for implementation.  This means pharmacists with a valid protocol are authorized to dispense naloxone, as of [Aug. 28, 2016],” said Yaryna Klimchak with the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration.

Carbondale Police

Two Pulaski County men are jailed after police say they tried to transport cannabis into Carbondale on an Amtrak train.

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. 

What's more harmful to patients being treated for drug or alcohol use: Risking their health by keeping other medical providers in the dark about the care, or risking the patients' jobs, homes and child custody arrangements by allowing potentially damaging details to be shared widely among providers?

Addicted to prescription painkillers after a high-school sports injury, Cameron Burke moved on to heroin, which was cheaper and more easily accessible. His parents tried everything, more than once sending him out of state for treatment.

"It was never enough," Jennifer Weiss-Burke of Albuquerque, N.M., told a local TV reporter last year. "Thirty days here, 30 days there, maybe detox for five days. It was never long-term, and that's what he needed. Recovery from heroin addiction requires long-term treatment."

More people died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2014 than during any previous year on record. The numbers have doubled in just the past 15 years.   

photo of meth

A Jefferson County man will serve up to 17-years in federal prison on methamphetamine related charges.
The U-S Attorney's Office says 31-year old Robert Tate of Mt. Vernon was sentenced Thursday.  A jury convicted Tate following a two day trial on charges of manufacturing and selling methamphetamine in Jefferson County between February 2013 and June of last year.

Updated on July 21 to add information about the film's screening as part of the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase. The co-directors were guests on "St. Louis on the Air."

When Ashley Seering and Cory Byers started gathering stories about heroin addiction and deaths in southern Illinois, the Edwardsville-based filmmakers didn’t realize it would turn into a feature-length documentary.

The Mt. Vernon-Jefferson County Narcotics Division has located what appears to be an indoor cannabis growing operation.

Williamson County law enforcement officials say they are making progress in breaking up a major drug ring.

Experts at the local, state, and federal level are battling a problem they say is growing surprisingly fast. WSIU's Jennifer Fuller explores the issue in this special report: Heroin in the Heartland.

For many years, if you asked someone in law enforcement about drugs they were finding, methamphetamine would top the list. Today, that list is changing.

“After probably 2002-2003, I probably only saw, in my patrol function and things that I did, saw heroin maybe one time until 2010-2011. Fast forward to where we are now, heroin is becoming as popular as crack cocaine.”

The Illinois State Crime Commission is calling for a statewide anti-heroin task force.