Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

Like much of the US, the Northwest has experienced a scourge of fatal overdoses from heroin and other opiates over the last decade. Many of Washington’s addiction hotspots are in small towns where options for rehab are scarce.

Oregon lawmakers will consider a proposal that would allow women to get oral contraceptives and contraceptive patches without a doctor's prescription.

Overdose deaths from a popular painkiller called Methadone appear to have peaked nationally. That’s according to a CDC report released Tuesday. The Northwest has one of the highest Methadone prescription rates in the country. Correspondent Austin Jenkins has more.

Photo credit: Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

More people are dying from overdoses of prescription painkillers. Some Northwest hospitals say they're combating the problem by drastically reducing the amount of prescriptions they write for the medications. Salem Hospital is the latest.

Experts say many users become addicted after initially taking painkillers for legitimate medical reasons. That's what happened to Matt Harp. He hurt his back playing college baseball. His doctor realized Harp was becoming addicted, but the Oregon man told a Salem news conference he simply visited different doctors and hospitals.

TACOMA, Wash. -- A federal judge in Tacoma has ruled that Washington‘s pharmacy regulations are unconstitutional.

The regulations require pharmacies and pharmacists to fill prescriptions and to do them in a timely manner. The judge found the state’s rules infringe on pharmacists’ right to religious freedom by requiring them to dispense emergency contraception also known as Plan B.

TACOMA, Wash. -- A federal judge in Tacoma is scheduled to rule Wednesday on Washington’s pharmacy regulations. Ruby de Luna reports that the main question before the court is whether the state’s rules violate the religious rights of pharmacists.

Photo by Kevin Mooney / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The abuse of old prescription drugs has been a leading cause of accidental overdosing deaths. Now there’s a bill in the State Legislature aimed getting expired meds out of circulation. But the proposal is in danger of dying, unless it moves forward in the Senate. Ruby de Luna reports.