Newser’s win

Earns award for Bronx drug den saga

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY LEONARD GREENE

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.”

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