Recently I wrote about the need to check citations when covering a study that triggers mental alarm bells, such as a statistic that strains belief. That post focused on a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine that frequently had been cited as evidence that opioids aren’t very addictive.
A few weeks later, a similar issue undermined the credibility of dozens (or more) publications on a far more divisive topic — gun violence.
Photo: Rebecca KigerPatients wait for treatment at a West Virginia day program for substance abuse.
The Ohio Valley ReSource is an award-winning collaborative of seven public radio stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky that have partnered to produce some fine multimedia work on rural health and Affordable Care Act. Their region has been hard hit by the opioid crisis and the spread of HIV – expanded health care coverage under the ACA is seen as critical in combating both.
The collaborative has done a nice mix of narrative and policy – looking at coal miners, alcoholism, job creation and rural providers, particularly clinics. Continue reading
Photo: Deborah CroweDr. Georges Benjamin gestures during a roundtable with Rachel Davis and Gary Slutkin, moderated by Andrea McDaniels.
What happens if we stop treating violence as a problem of crime and morality – and start treating it as a public health problem? A contagious public health problem?
That was the provocative starting point of the Health Journalism 2017 kickoff roundtable: Violence as a public health emergency.
Gary Slutkin, chief executive officer of Cure Violence, set the scene for us. We know the victim of a shooting has a health problem – the gunshot injury. But what about the shooter? Does he or she have a health problem too? Perhaps an untreated health problem arising from exposure to violence? Continue reading
In two days in December, the Charleston Gazette-Mail published two blockbuster articles about the opioid crisis in West Virginia, the results of months of reporting by Eric Eyre, the paper’s statehouse reporter.
Anyone who read them would recognize that Eyre’s work was outstanding, if only for the numbers he included in each piece. Over six years, the nation’s largest drug distributors shipped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to pharmacies in the state, he reported. In that same period, 1,728 West Virginians fatally overdosed on those two painkillers, he wrote. Drug distributors shipped enough hydrocodone and oxycodone for each of the state’s 1.8 million residents to have 433 pills. Continue reading
At more than 100,000 offices and clinics across America, dentists stay busy placing and removing amalgam fillings as they care for their patients.
Dental amalgam – a mixture of metals such as silver, tin, copper and zinc bound together by mercury – is valued by clinicians for its workability, low cost and strength. Regulated as a medical device, dental amalgam is considered safe for most patients over the age of 6. Continue reading