Christine Vestal covers mental health and drug addiction for Stateline. Before joining Pew she covered health care, the environment, energy, information technology and telecommunications for a variety of news outlets, including McGraw-Hill, the Financial Times and Post-Newsweek Business Information. At Stateline, she has covered the legal and political battles over the Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medicaid to more low-income adults. She has also written about children’s health, Medicaid, mental health, wellness, and a wide variety of public health issues. Currently, Vestal is focusing on the prescription painkiller and heroin epidemic, including efforts to stem overdose deaths by making addiction treatment with medications more widely available.
This article was first published by Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Ever since the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl began showing up in the illicit drug supply in 2014, the number of U.S. overdose deaths has skyrocketed — exceeding all other accidental deaths, including car crashes and gun violence. In response, the federal […]