Saturday, November 04, 2017

How Opioids Kill Neighborhoods


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has just published an amazing investigation into the harm that the opioid epidemic has had on one Pittsburgh neighborhood. Journalists from the newspaper spent months in Carrick, Pittsburgh talking to addicts, the police, health care workers and ordinary residents. The result is Riding OD Road, an in-depth special report into how Carrick became the opioid capital of the region.

This remarkable piece of long-form journalism is partly illustrated by a number of Leaflet powered interactive maps. The maps are used to show the devastating effect the opioid epidemic is having on the people living in Carrick. They visualize the number and locations of heroin/opioid-related charges made by police in the area and the number of drug related police actions undertaken in Carrick. Another interactive map is also used to show how overseas and absentee landlords are exploiting the situation in Carrick by buying up cheap housing and then renting to addicts.

The maps in Riding OD Road are simple illustrations used to help convey the scale of the opioid crisis in the neighborhood. The heart of Riding OD Road is the remarkable interviews with the people who live and work in Carrick and their first-hand testimonies of living in a community being destroyed by opioids,
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