Earns award for Bronx drug den saga
THE NATION’S oldest press club has honored one of the Daily News’ best reporters for a gripping story on the national opioid crisis.
Last year, writer Rich Schapiro took readers on a troubling tour of a South Bronx drug den filled with used single-use needles and syringes where the epidemic was on full display. Schapiro’s passionate, detailed account earned him a top prize from the Society of the Silurians for his May 20, 2017, story, “South Bronx Heroin Den.”
“Schapiro’s gripping story, an up-close peek into the dark world of addiction, uses the alchemy of vivid dispassionate writing and rigorous reporting to achieve journalism that is simultaneously classic and timely,” the society said in a citation that accompanied the award for best feature news.
The story was part of a series that featured interviews with addiction experts, recovering addicts, police and prosecutors to provide an in-depth look at the drug scourge.
Days after the series ran, the city shut down the South Bronx shooting gallery — a nightmarish site known as “The Hole,” where addicts had openly pumped heroin into their veins for years.
The Hole was located in the Mott Haven-Hunts Point area, the city’s deadliest neighborhood for heroin overdoses. Its 2015 tally of 18.8 deaths per 100,000 people was higher than the fatal overdose rate of every U.S. state, except West Virginia.
Daily News reporter Rich Schapiro (right) won top feature news story prize from Society of the Silurians for “Opioid Nation” tale about a notorious Bronx shoot-up site known as “The Hole.”