Northern California news coverage of the opioid epidemic
In 2014, more people died of opioid overdose than any other year on record, and the epidemic is only getting worse. In rural communities in Northern California, the abuse of prescription drugs is particularly severe. Key to addressing and preventing the spread of this epidemic is understanding the news coverage of the issue. The news in Northern California provides a window through which we can glimpse how the public and policymakers understand the opioid abuse and overdose in the region.
The California Department of Public Health commissioned BMSG to monitor and analyze print and online news from Northern California about the growing use of opioids. The media search was designed to capture coverage related to a broad range of stories about opioid issues, as well as hyper-local media responses from news outlets in rural Northern California.
A summary report of our findings is below.