Ben Allen | KUOW News and Information

Ben Allen

Ben Allen was the Morning Edition host at KOSU, from March 2012 to October 2013.

While at KOSU, he garnered a number of awards for his reporting, including 4 first place Society of Professional Journalists, Oklahoma chapter awards in 2012, tied for the most of any journalist – print or broadcast – in the state. His reporting exposed a plan by a Native American tribe to commercially harvest castor beans, which contain the poison ricin. That plan was eventually shelved. He also illuminated the impact the U.S. farm bill has on both farmers and the poor.

Ben grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts and is a

 2011 graduate of Fordham University. He was previously employed at the school’s NPR member station WFUV.

As of April 2014, Ben is a full-time general assignment reporter for WITF in central Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, it's estimated opioids like heroin killed at least 1,300 people last year. In Massachusetts, more than 1,000 have died, and in Connecticut, heroin deaths jumped more than 85 percent in two years.

But figuring out the size and scope of the problem is harder than many people think.

Pennsylvania, like many states, doesn't require reporting of specific details on drug overdoses, and whatever other information is available is at least two years old.