In December 2016, Charles Piller (@cpiller), the west coast editor for Stat, reported that a genetic test to identify patients who could be prone to addiction lacked a firm scientific basis.
With an eye-opening headline, “Called ‘hogwash,’ a gene test for addiction risk exploits opioid fears,” the article raised important questions about the Proove Opioid Risk test from Proove Biosciences in Irvine, Calif. Continue reading
For Heather Wolford, a reporter for the Cumberland Times-News, covering the growing opioid crisis in the rural hills of Western Maryland was, quite literally, a calling.
Now two years into her health coverage of the epidemic, Wolford was driven by a journalist’s instinct to find out what was happening in her community, from those using the drugs, police officers and government officials, to family members on all sides of the crisis.
“When I repeatedly heard daily overdose calls over the office scanner, I asked my boss if I could dive into the crisis,” she said. Continue reading
Last week’s AHCJ webinar about responsible, accurate reporting on addiction and recovery issues pointed out the importance of sensitive, accurate coverage of the issue and ways in which journalists can improve their coverage.
AHCJ members who missed the live webcast can still watch the Aug. 24 presentation by speaker Tom Hill, M.S.W., vice president of addiction and recovery at the National Council for Behavioral Health. Continue reading
Reporting on health and medical topics inevitably involves minefields, especially in topics already rife with stigma, such as mental health. Despite the strides made in the U.S. in destigmatizing mental health issues, subtopics within the field remain frequently misunderstood and unfairly represented — and journalists sometimes inadvertently contribute to that. Continue reading
State-run electronic databases that collect opioid prescription information are being hailed as an effective tool to curb opioid abuse in a new report released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC report got a lot of press, mainly for its primary findings that opioid prescriptions have dropped in recent years but still remained three times higher in 2015 than in 1999. The peak opioid prescribing year was 2010, according to the CDC. Continue reading
As authorities search for ways to curb the nation’s opioid epidemic, an increasing number of localities are turning to a new venue: the courts.
States, counties, cities and even Native American tribes are taking legal aim at companies they see as helping to fuel the drug crisis. In recent months, lawsuits have been filed against drugmakers, pharmacies and drug distributors even as some legal experts have said such challenges could face hurdles. Continue reading