Margaret Talbot reports on the opioid epidemic in West Virginia. There, the overdose rate is the highest in the United States and many are fighting to help loved ones, friends, neighbors, and sometimes complete strangers get healthy. Among several sources, she profiles an emergency paramedic who routinely sees to multiple overdoses a day (sometimes the same people on repeat). A team of moms called “The Hope Dealers” drives addicts hours away to get the treatment they need. A 71-year-old doctor offers free public classes on how to administer a drug called Narcan which reverses the effects of overdoses that have become commonplace. All this in an opioid epidemic fuelled by cheap highs and small-town despair over limited prospects.
A profile of Carrie Goldberg, a lawyer who, after being harassed online by an ex, became inspired to become exactly the lawyer she—and other women who fall victim to “revenge porn”—needed.
In Providence, Rhode Island, the mayor hopes getting low-income parents to talk to their very young children more will help boost language skills and close the achievement gap.
On being young and transgender:
“At thirteen, Skylar was browsing at Barnes & Noble and came across the young-adult novel ‘Parrotfish,’ by Ellen Wittlinger, which, along with books like ‘Luna’ and ‘I Am J,’ is a touchstone for trans kids. ‘Parrotfish’ is the story of Grady—born Angela—who realizes by page 9 that ‘inside the body of this strange, never-quite-right girl hid the soul of a typical, average ordinary boy.’ Skylar had a flash of recognition; a few months later, after a bout of Internet research, he told Melissa and Chip that he was trans.
“Skylar wanted to take testosterone right away—he wanted facial hair and a deeper voice and a more masculine frame. Melissa and Chip were receptive, but needed time to consider the ramifications. Melissa said, ‘To his credit, Skylar’s been amazingly patient with allowing Chip and me to internalize this and to get up to speed on it. You know, the whole idea of testosterone—there are permanent physiological changes that occur. So you want to be sure. And, while Skylar himself was sure, he was, after all, fourteen.'”
Is it too soon to petition the Supreme Court on gay marriage?