AuthorMeghan Costa

Are treatment centers failing their patients?

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“Treatment failed me from day one,” McLane said. When McLane first started treatment, he did not have a car. The treatment center he went to was supposed to pick him to take him to AA meetings, but one day the van never showed. McLane could have easily skipped the meeting and gone to the nearest bar, but he chose to walk a mile to the treatment center instead. Although McLane showed perseverance...

Addiction Reporting at The Atlantic Magazine

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In 2014,  Atlantic Magazine reporter Jake Flanagin wrote The Surprising Failures of 12 Steps. This article highlights how traditional 12 step programs have failed their members, but it also discusses why people still are drawn to these groups.  Flanigan mentions that 12 step programs have low success rates because members often relapse and leave the program. He also explains how the prevalence of...

10 Things I Learned From The Anonymous People Documentary

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Of the $350 billion that is spent every year on addiction, 98% is spent on incarceration, rehab and other forms of treatment, while only 2 percent of those funds go towards preventing it. Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, said that helping other people stay sober helps him stay sober. The organization Faces & Voices of Recovery helped bring smaller advocacy groups together...

10 Ways to Incorporate Solutions Journalism into Addiction Reporting

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A solutions piece should offer evidence of results linked to the response implemented. For example, if an addiction recovery program starts administering a new drug- like an alternative to methadone- and claims the drug is helping people, ask them for evidence and data that proves this. When reporting on a solution, look for an insight or teachable lesson that the characters learned while...

5 Things I Learned From Journalist Jean Friedman-Rudovsky

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When reporting on a solutions story, it is important to take detailed notes of a scene, even though you may only use one or two of those details later. When interviewing, it is especially important for international journalists to inform people where the story will be printed and if story will be available online. Explain that the story will be available to anyone that googles their name. Never...

10 Things I Learned From The Solutions Journalism Toolkit

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A good solutions journalism piece explains the causes of a social problem and then presents the reader with a potential solution. A solutions piece should not advance an agenda, introduce responses that do not exist yet, ask for donations, or suggest that the response fixes the problem entirely. Solutions journalism introduces credible examples of responses to problems so people can learn how to...