Christopher Moraff

DISPATCHES is Christopher Moraff’s weekly column for Filter, featuring analysis and beat reporting. Christopher has spent over a decade reporting on the intersection of policing, criminal justice and civil liberties. His immersion reporting from Kensington, Philadelphia, has earned him a reputation as an expert on injection drug culture and the fentanyl crisis. His work has appeared in publications including the Daily Beast, the Washington Post and Al Jazeera America. He is co-host of the podcast Narcotica, and curator of the stock photo site StashHouse.org.

Philadelphia’s Latest Backward Step Is Nothing New

If the War on Drugs were seeking a motto, “One step forward, two steps back,” might be rejected as overly…

1 week

Police Brutality and Fear: Hits Keep Coming for Philly’s Most Vulnerable

When the current protests began in Philadelphia on Saturday, May 30, something felt distinctly different from the last time I…

1 month

Tensions Rise in Kensington, Philadelphia as Lockdown Bites

Like much of the nation, Philadelphia has come to a virtual standstill. At publication time, Philadelphia County had almost 6,400…

3 months

Safehouse Won a Great Victory for Harm Reduction, NIMBYism Blocks It for Now

[Update, February 28: Less than 12 hours after this report was published, Safehouse withdrew its plan to open a safe…

4 months

Why Suboxone Diversion Is Nothing to Fear

“Subs. Who needs subs?” a woman called out quietly near the intersection of Kensington and Allegheny avenues on a recent…

5 months

Forced to Quit Methadone Because of His Adderall Prescription

Breadman came to me recently with a harrowing story. Aged 43, he lives in South Philadelphia and acquired his nickname…

5 months

Life Without Parole for a Crime as a Minor: His Story Has Wider Lessons

As the holidays approached, I found myself in one of the most financially precarious situations I had ever experienced. It…

6 months

A Dire Shortage of ADD Meds Is Pushing Some Patients to Street Meth

America is beginning—far too late and far too slowly—to get some kind of a grip on deaths and harms involving…

7 months

Equipping Defense Attorneys to Fight Drug-Induced Homicide Charges

Amid the overdose crisis, drug warrior district attorneys across the US have added a new tool to their prosecutorial arsenal:…

8 months

Can Harm Reduction Finally Take Root in America’s Schools?

In my second year in junior high in Philadelphia, I sat with two dozen peers, waiting for the start of…

8 months