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.

How COVID-19 Is Driving Risks in the Illicit Benzodiazepines Market

The life conditions imposed by the pandemic are leading many Americans to seek mental health treatment for the first time.…

August 5, 2020

Kentucky Challenge to “Casey’s Law” Strikes Against Involuntary Commitment

One of the nation’s oldest involuntary commitment laws designed specifically to target people who use drugs is facing a court…

July 9, 2020

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…

June 25, 2020

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…

June 3, 2020

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…

April 14, 2020

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…

February 27, 2020

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…

February 10, 2020

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…

January 27, 2020

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…

January 7, 2020

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…

December 12, 2019