Killers & Pain

Number 26585
Subject Drugs
Source Poughkeepsie Journal
State New York
Year 2014
Publication Date 05/18/14; 06/22/14; 06/29-30/14; 09/14/14; 11/09-10/14
Summary In her series Killers & Pain, Mary Beth Pfeiffer went where other media outlets have yet to go on a painkiller abuse epidemic whose devastation cannot be understated: 22,000 American lives lost in 2012 in overdoses from prescribed drugs like oxycodone. While the epidemic's story has been told elsewhere, Pfeiffer broke new ground. She laid blame on doctors at the epidemic’s heart, finding twin failures of physician oversight -- by regulators charged with assuring doctors do no harm and a justice system that gave drug-dealing doctors special treatment. Beyond this, the Journal was the first news outlet in New York to link a rush to heroin to a state law intended to curb painkiller abuse. It also documented massive over-prescribing, and, perhaps most importantly, humanized an epidemic that has ravaged communities served by the Poughkeepsie Journal. Pfeiffer’s June 29 profile of "The Dutchess 63" is a heart-breaking investigative portrait of real-world pain.
Category IRE Contest Entry
Keywords drugs; painkillers
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