Join The Center for Health Journalism's upcoming webinar "The Next Wave of America's Overdose Crisis" for an insightful conversation from award-winning Washington Post reporters Sari Horwitz and Scott Higham and NYU professor and opioid expert Magdalena Cerdá.
Drugs laced with fentanyl and even more poisonous synthetics have flooded the streets, as the crisis spreads well beyond the rural, largely white communities that initially drew attention. The death rate is escalating twice as fast among Black people than among white people. And it’s rising more rapidly among adolescents than the population overall, even as drug use among youth is declining. From 2019 to 2020, overdose deaths among Black teens and young adults jumped 86%.
The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the surge, by disrupting prevention, treatment and recovery services as well as jobs, schooling and mental health support. The staggering toll has given fresh momentum to harm reduction strategies, including historic federal investments in services, and state laws expanding access to syringe exchange and lifesaving naloxone. But clearly, more must be done.
This webinar will provide journalists with deep insights into an epidemic that killed more than 107,000 people in the U.S. last year. It will also provide fresh story angles and practical tips for covering the rapidly shifting crisis, the racial barriers to addiction treatment and safer drug use, and the catastrophic impacts on families and communities.