Elizabeth brico is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She is the site author of e.b. writes: writing on writing, and Betty’s Battleground–a blog about life after trauma, which was ranked #26 on Feedspot’s list of top 75 PTSD blogs in 2017. She was a 2019 Reimagining Communities fellow with the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, where she researched the use of predictive analytics in the child welfare sector, and a journalism fellow with Talk Poverty, reporting on economic justice. Before that, she worked as a regular contributor to the PTSD blog on HealthyPlace (#2 on the same Feedspot list) and the Ammon Foundation blog. Her work–which often focuses on drug policy, carceral systems, gender issues, and social injustice–has appeared on Vox, Vice, Columbia Journalism Review, Politico, Ms Magazine, UndarkFilter, Talk Poverty, Ozy, Racked, Stat, and The Establishment, among others, and has been quoted in the Washington Post. Radio appearances include NPR’s All Sides With Ann Fisher, and Portland’s X-Ray In The Morning. She might be immortal, or else very lucky. Accidental necromancy is also a possibility. In case you can’t tell, she spends her free time reading, writing, and watching speculative fiction.


Broward County
Willing to relocate, galaxy negotiable

Writing Clips


This is what happens when you can’t get methadone


Published Writing

Elizabeth Brico on HealthyPlace
Elizabeth Brico on WorkIt Health


When Women Run the Bird World — Audubon


A Dangerous Fentanyl Myth Lives On — Columbia Journalism Review


How Ryan Henry Ward turned Seattle into a magical menagerie — Curbed-Seattle
Parenting in Poverty on Capitol Hill –Curbed-Seattle


A Cop at My Bedside: The Nightmare of Disclosing MAT Before Giving Birth — Filter
Does a “Dialectical Abstinence” Program Qualify as Harm Reduction? — Filter
Giving Alcohol, Nicotine, Marijuana to Isolated Homeless People Is Harm Reduction — Filter
How Stigma Against Addiction Devastates Pain Patients — Filter
How to Be a Better Employer for People with Addiction or Mental Illness — Filter
If We Wrote About Caffeine Like We Do Other Drugs… — Filter
It Took a Pandemic to Improve Some People’s Access to Opioid Addiction Meds — Filter
Judges and Lawyers Ignorant of MAT Require Urgent Education Efforts –Filter
“Junkie” Caricatures Make Us All More Vulnerable to Addiction — Filter
Let’s Embrace the Christmas Miracle of Naloxone –Filter
Let’s End Dangerous Wait Times for Accessing Opioid Use Disorder Meds — Filter
Our Irrational Cruelty to Pregnant or Parenting People Who Use Drugs — Filter
Screen Depictions of Parents Who Use Drugs Still Fuel Stigma and Punishment — Filter
Sex, Heroin, and Survivor’s Trauma are Interlinked For Many Women — Filter
Six Months Since My Daughters Were Taken, Here’s How the System Punishes Past Drug Use –Filter
Starting Bupe From Fentanyl Can Be a Nightmare. Microdosing Methods Help. — Filter
Stigma and Strip Searches: We Still Treat People on Methadone as Less Than Human — Filter
“The Civil Death Penalty–” My Motherhood Is Legally Terminated — Filter
The Coronavirus Information Gap for Marginalized People — Filter
“There Is No Naloxone For Racism–” Kassandra Frederique Speaks Out (interview) — Filter
Witnessed Urine Drug Screens in Drug Treatment: Humiliating and Harmful — Filter

Halo Effect/Disposition — Hock Spit Slurp

Stranger in a Strange Land: Growing Up Cuban-American Under the Embargo –Latino Rebels

Bad Mom — Lunch Ticket


Surviving In the Shadows — Ms Magazine

A Portrait of the Artist as an Addict — OZY
The Filmmaker Wringing Truth–and Comedy–From Addiction — OZY
This Drug Activist Doesn’t Want Addicts to Stop Using–Himself Included — OZY
Why America’s Latest Turn on Opioids is Bringing Hope to Pain Patients — OZY
Why Opioid Addicts Have It Better In Blue States — OZY

I Nearly Died of a Drug Overdose. Would That Make My Dealer a Murder? — Politico Magazine
Trump Is Continuing the War on Drugs That Kept Me Addicted — Politico Magazine

CPS Took My Kids. Low Access to Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment Keep Families Like Mine Apart — Prism/Daily Kos
Limited Technology Access Prevents Kids In the Child Welfare System From Connecting With Parents — Prism/Daily Kos

How to Buy Nothing, Get Stuff, and Make Friends — Racked
Shopping Helped Me Reinvent Myself After Abuse — Racked

By shunning medication-assisted therapy, 12-step meetings are making the opioid crisis worse — STAT 


How Domestic Violence Kept Me From Coming Out — Survival Is A Talent

2.2 Million Americans Are Behind Bars. That’s More Than the Prison System Can Handle — Talk Poverty
Addiction Treatment Clinics Struggle to Keep Up with COVID-19 — Talk Poverty
A Hidden Change In the CARES Act Undermines Privacy Protections for Addiction Patients — Talk Poverty
A Mistake at a Ticket Machine Cost Me $100. Fining Me Didn’t Make the Subway Safer — Talk Poverty
Biased Algorithms Are Determining Whether Poor People Get to Keep Their Kids — Talk Poverty
Catching the Flu Got Me Kicked Out of My Addiction Treatment Program — Talk Poverty
Coronavirus Could Cost Parents Custody Of Kids in Foster Care — Talk Poverty
Few Jails Provide Addiction Treatment, Making Release Fatal — Talk Poverty
For Domestic Violence Survivors, Courts Can Be Another Abuse — Talk Poverty
For Low-Income People, Generosity is a Survival Tactic — Talk Poverty
Hepatitis C Patients Are Being Forced Into Underground Buyers Clubs –Talk Poverty
How an Algorithm Meant to Help Parents Could Target Poor Families Instead –Talk Poverty
How Child Protective Services Can Skip Due Process — Talk Poverty
How Child Protective Services Can Trap the Parents They’re Supposed to Help — Talk Poverty
In the Child Welfare System, Somebody’s Always Watching You — Talk Poverty
Jail Isn’t a Drug Treatment Center. Stop Promoting It as One — Talk Poverty
North Carolina Wants to Penalize Prenatal Substance Exposure — Talk Poverty
Poverty Isn’t Neglect, But the State Took My Children Anyway — Talk Poverty
Six Months Into #MeToo, We Still Aren’t Helping Victims Heal — Talk Poverty
State Laws Can Punish Parents Living in Abusive Households — Talk Poverty
State Laws Punish Pregnant People Just for Seeking Drug Treatment — Talk Poverty
The Cost of Addiction Treatment Keeps Poor People Addicted — Talk Poverty
The Government Spends 10 Times More on Foster Care and Adoption Than Reuniting Families — Talk Poverty

The Happiest City In The U.S. Has A Secret –Talk Poverty


Coronavirus Raises Questions On How to Meet Court-Ordered Obligations — The Appeal
COVID-19 Exposes Stark Inequalities Across the U.S. as Thousands Struggle Daily to Find Food — The Appeal
Fatal Overdose Deaths Soar In Communities Across the Country Amid COVID-19 Pandemic — The Appeal
How Child Services Punishes Mothers with Substance Use Disorder–And Their Children — The Appeal
How the Media Can Stigmatize Parents and Separate Families — The Appeal
Inspired By Her Own Experiences, Baltimore Woman Publishes Magazine Giving Voice to the Incarcerated — The Appeal
Lack of Access to Clean Water Is Putting Homeless People At Risk Even as Cities Reopen Amid COVID-19 — The Appeal
Methadone Rules Requiring In-Person Visits are Putting Patients At Risk of Coronavirus — The Appeal

I Loved The Man Who Abused Me –The Establishment

An Open Letter to Addiction Treatment Providers –The Fix
Can Mindfulness Meditation Help Prevent Relapse? –The Fix
Florida Versus Evidence: How I Lost My Children Because of Past Drug Use — The Fix

Opioid Addiction and Pregnancy: Why are Doctors Ignoring Best Practices? –The Fix
Promising New Treatments for Opioid-Dependent Babies — The Fix
Should Your Breastfeed Your Baby If You’re on Methadone? –The Fix
The Empty Chair Campaign Highlights Loss and Sorrow Caused by the Drug War — The Fix
The Problem with “Addicted Babies” –The Fix
Trauma and Addiction In College –The Fix
Using Marijuana to Treat Opioid Addiction — The Fix
What Causes False Positives on Drug Tests? — The Fix
What the AIDS Epidemic Can Teach Us About The Opioid Crisis — The Fix
Why I Don’t Have a Sobriety Date
— The Fix

An Open Letter to My Parents, Who Didn’t Handle My Addiction Well — VICE

Another Way Prisons Treat Pregnant Women Like Shit — VICE
Does CBD Show Up on a Drug Test? — VICE
Drug Dealers on Facebook are Targeting People With Addiction — VICE
Heroin Overdose Parties Are a Dehumanizing Myth — VICE
I Have A Pathological Fear Of Being Happy — VICE

I Got Addicted to the Needle Even When There Was Nothing to Shoot up — VICE
My Baby Was Born With A Drug Dependence — VICE
My Trauma Led Me to Self-Medication with Heroin — VICE
‘Privacy Is Becoming a Luxury:’ What Data Leaks Are Like for the Poor — VICE
This Is How Physical Abusers Manipulate Their Targets — VICE
This Is What It’s Like To Overdose On Heroin Nine Times
This Is What Meth-Induced Psychosis Feels Like — VICE
What It’s Like to Detox in Jail — VICE

For Babies Born Into Addiction, Punishing the Mother Is No Cure — Undark
New Algorithms Perpetuate Old Biases in Child Welfare Cases — Undark

Addiction Is a Disease. But an Opioid Executive Wants You to Think it’s a Crime — Vox
I was pregnant while addicted to heroin. Methadone saved my baby’s life. — Vox
They were opioid addicts on their way to recovery. Then the hurricane hit.
— Vox

Am I an Addict, a Person with a Substance Use Disorder, Or Both? — Work It Health
How Illicit Fentanyl Affects Buprenorphine Induction — Work It Health