It’s legal. It is readily accessible and requires no prescription to purchase. It’s socially acceptable. Yet, it can cause myriad health risks for older adults, from balance problems and falls to drug interactions to death.
“It” is alcohol — a growing concern among clinical and mental health professionals caring for our older population. 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
President Donald Trump’s decision to declare opioid addiction a national emergency could be at least a step toward addressing the complex crisis blamed for claiming more than 33,000 lives in 2015.
The emergency declaration potentially could be used to expedite state responses, dispatch U.S. Public Health Service personnel to hard-hit communities and step up requirements for prescriber education, according to Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, who was interviewed for a Washington Post story. Continue reading
Photo: Kimberly LeonardHealth journalists learned more about public health issues, including opioid treatment and long-term care, at a D.C. chapter meeting.
A panel of Altarum Institute experts dove into the politics and policy of broad topics in public health, including the untold stories of the opioid crisis, persistent but overlooked concerns over long-term care funding and the importance of access to dental services.
The opioid crisis continues to escalate and, despite widespread coverage of the challenges across the country, there are new and important angles to the story, suggested Tom Coderre, a senior adviser at the D.C.-based research and consulting organization, during a June meeting of the AHCJ’s Washington, D.C., chapter, hosted by the Aspen Institute. 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