Portland Press Herald staff writer Penelope Overton’s incisive reporting and writing on the impact of the opioid crisis on Maine’s lobstering community has won a national journalism award.

“Trapped by Heroin,” a story about the toll heroin is taking on one of the state’s most important industries and the people who make their living within it has won a 2017 Best-in-Business award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Judges described the entry as “ambitious,” and acknowledged that competition was particularly fierce this year. Their comments:

“The reporter entered the closed realm of Maine lobstermen and persuaded these insular workers to open up about a scourge claiming the lives of friends and family members. The lobster industry, it turns out, is particularly susceptible to opioid addiction. The reporter explained the reasons why, interspersing memorable vignettes about down-on-their-luck survivors as well as the unfortunate ones who didn’t make it.”

The story ran as part of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram series “Lost,” which explored heroin’s devastating grip in Maine.

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