As a writer, I focus on helping people to understand complex topics by making them easy to understand and relevant to the reader. When a local magazine asked me to research the opioid epidemic in Carroll County, Maryland, and write a feature-length piece about it, I took on the challenge.
Case Study: Here’s how I did it.
The Challenge: Learn about the extent, severity and complexity of the opioid epidemic.
The Solution: I jumped into extensive research about how many people are affected, how long the problem has existed, why the problem is growing and what is being done to address the problem. Part of that research included interviews with the local health department, with local law enforcement, with the school system, and with people who are fighting addiction. Those interviews were compelling and poignant. I came away from those interviews with a somber feeling about how serious the epidemic has become.
The Challenge: Put a human face to the story.
The Solution: I attended a unique event that recognized first responders who assisted affected individuals through crisis incidents. The event featured testimonials from those individuals in praise of the first responders who helped them. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Their stories were touching and inspiring. There was hope at the close of the event that the opioid epidemic would one day impact less people.
The results: The story, called The Opioid Epidemic Hits Home, was published in Carroll Magazine and was listed on the cover as a main feature. The story now has a high google ranking online. And readers wrote to the magazine to say how much they appreciated the story.