I Cover the Opioid Epidemic Full Time. Ask Me Anything.

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Sixty-four thousand. That’s the number of Americans who died of overdoses in 2016—and it’s a hard one to wrap your mind around. It’s more than the annual deaths from AIDS, car accidents, or gun violence have ever been. It’s more than all the US military deaths during the Vietnam War. 

I’ve covered the opioid epidemic since 2016, trying to make sense not only of the tens of thousands of lives lost each year, but of the millions more affected by the crisis. The articles have taken the form of timelines and explainers on how overzealous opioid prescribing transformed into a scourge of heroin and fentanyl, deep dives on successful efforts to treat addiction and reduce opioid prescriptions, stories on what Trump’s proposed policies and nominees mean for the epidemic, and profiles of the many who are touched by addiction: children flooding into foster homes, cops feeling like they’re playing “whack-a-mole,” pregnant moms with few options, parents who have lost children to overdose. 

But this is a complex issue, and there are more questions to answer and stories to tell. I’d love to hear your questions about the epidemic and stories of any personal connections you might have to it. Feel free to remain anonymous or use your first name only. And if you’d prefer to email me directly, shoot me a note at jlurie@motherjones.com.










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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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