Using drug databases: Tips for avoiding pitfalls (Sponsored by Knight Foundation)

  • Event: 2018 IRE Conference
  • Speaker: Pat Beall of The Palm Beach Post
  • Date/Time: Friday, Jun. 15 at 10:15am
  • Location: Oceans 9-10
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

The CDC’s WONDER database is the best national database of drug deaths, but it's outdated and flawed, leading to undercounted heroin deaths and overcounted deaths from prescription opioids. Yet this is the database that researchers primarily turn to time and time again to identify and prove drug trends, which then becomes the baseline for policy decisions about drugs. 

Join this demo as veteran investigative reporter Pat Beall walks you through what’s available in data, shows how to use the CDC numbers (they are tricky), explains the pitfalls and possible workarounds and also identifies ways to localize reporting some of the data-based problems.

Speaker Bios

  • Pat Beall is an investigative reporter with The Palm Beach Post and host of the podcast “Dancing Oligarchs.”  She has won multiple national, regional and state awards for stories on the opioid epidemic, criminal justice and her memoir of child abuse; most recently a 2018 Sigma Delta Chi Award, Non-Deadline Reporting and Second Place, 2019 National Headliner Awards, Investigative Reporting, for tracking the origins of the heroin epidemic to Florida drug policy.  @beall1.

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