Used syringes at a needle exchange clinic in St. Johnsbury, Vt., where users can pick up new syringes and other clean items for those dependent on heroin.  Heroin and other opiates have begun to devastate many communities in the Northeast and Midwest, leading to a surge in fatal overdoses in a number of states. As prescription painkillers, such as the synthetic opiate OxyContin, become increasingly expensive and regulated, more Americans are turning to heroin to fight pain or to get high.

Used syringes at a needle exchange clinic in St. Johnsbury, Vt., where users can pick up new syringes and other clean items for those dependent on heroin. Heroin and other opiates have begun to devastate many communities in the Northeast and Midwest, leading to a surge in fatal overdoses in a number of states. As prescription painkillers, such as the synthetic opiate OxyContin, become increasingly expensive and regulated, more Americans are turning to heroin to fight pain or to get high.

Last year alone, more Americans died from a drug overdose than were lost fighting the war in Vietnam.

Opioids, including pain medicines, are turning some cities into mass casualty zones.

President Trump promised to “dramatically expand access to treatment.”
So what’s been done? And what should we do?

Guests

  • Lenny Bernstein Health and medicine reporter, The Washington Post
  • Dr. Leana Wen Baltimore City Health Commissioner; emergency physician
  • Phil Plummer Sheriff, Montgomery County, Ohio

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