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California health

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The nation’s largest — and latest — study of illicit drugs found an explosion of marijuana use among Americans age 12 or older in 2010. The National Survey on Drug Use & Health concluded that marijuana users are largely to blame for the continued increase in illegal drug use, which includes the nonmedical use of prescription medications.

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Unlike methamphetamines or heroin, which could have been made in a stranger’s garage, a uniformly manufactured pill from a pharmacy is considered a paragon of safety.

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It’s not a pretty picture. Just as it is in our country, drug abuse is out of control in our community. In what will come as a surprise to many readers, however, the problem is not limited to illegal narcotics like cocaine, heroin and marijuana. Some of the most often abused drugs — and the most addictive — are perfectly legal medications prescribed by one of the professionals you trust on the most personal of levels, your doctor.

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Police kicked in the door of a Lompoc motel room where they suspected drug activity was taking place, and officers swarmed in to arrest the two people inside. Syringes were scattered about the floor. A couple had been injecting the prescription medication methadone, a drug used to treat severe pain.

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Many Americans might cite cocaine or heroin if asked to identify the country’s leading cause of overdose deaths.

Wrong answer.

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A legal victory for health reform, troubles for Allergan's Lap-Band, and methamphetamine's decline, plus more from our Daily Briefing.

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Glendale was actually a somewhat controversial selection when the PLACE grants were first announced. Yet, the Greenway demonstrates not just a commitment to creating livable streets where people can walk and bike where they’re going or just be outside without being harassed by traffic, but also a commitment to equity.

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There’s always a risk when an advocate is hired by a government agency.  Will the advocate “go native” and be an ineffective agent of change?  Will the advocate ever be able to shake his reputation of being “just” an advocate?

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Smoking rates drop (just a little), Bootsy Collins' nephew's preventable death, and a new "shaking" treatment for lice, plus more from our Daily Briefing.

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A diagnosis for Venus Williams, surprising health fallout from Irene, 9/11-related illnesses and more from our Daily Briefing.

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The nation’s overdose epidemic has entered a devastating new phase. 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. This webinar will give journalists deep insights, fresh story ideas and practical tips for covering an epidemic that killed more than 107,000 people in the U.S. last year. Sign-up here!

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