Tag Archives: drug abuse

Atlantic writer offers suggestions for covering drugs, pregnant women

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

Photo by J.K. Califf via Flickr.

Photo by J.K. Califf via Flickr.

Olga Khazan, a health writer for The Atlantic, often tackles health subjects bisecting traditional health and the impact on people’s lives. That can range from the heavy weight of medical bills to struggling home visit programs for poorer mothers. Earlier this year she looked at the impact of taking drugs – from meth to painkillers, on pregnant women in various states.

The story, “Into the Body of Another,” examined the jail terms some mothers received for taking various substances while pregnant despite the varying – and in some cases unknown – impact on their unborn children. Continue reading

Calif. adopts strict rehab rules for medical workers

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

ProPublica reporters Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein have filed a report (Los Angeles Times version, ProPublica version) on the fallout from their work exposing failures in California’s nurse rehab program.

The state has adopted strict new rules governing drug abusers in the health care industry, requiring that those in the rehab program be tested more than 100 times in the first year, and pulling them from practice immediately should a relapse be detected.

In addition, public Web sites will now list any restrictions to their licenses, “easing the long-standing confidentiality protections that have shielded participants and kept their patients in the dark.”

‘Prescription for Disaster’ reporter wins Livingston

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

John Dickerson, a 26-year-old reporter for the Phoenix New Times, won the Livingston Award for Young Journalists in the local reporting category for  stories about the Arizona Medical Board’s lax rules regarding physicians’ drug abuse.

Dickerson’s investigation revealed the state’s five-year monitoring period for physicians who had entered rehab for substance abuse to be inadequate, as a high percentage of those allowed to practice medicine (75 percent of a 20-physician total) relapsed after the monitoring window had expired.

Other stories in the award-winning series include: