Opioids: How did this happen?

Drug overdoses last year took the lives of nearly 72,000 Americans. Two-thirds of these deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, involved opioids.  It’s a record number – higher than death totals from H.I.V., car crashes or gun deaths.

By now, it goes without saying: the opioid addiction crisis is huge and it’s many-headed hydra.

How did this happen?

It’s the focus of the book Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemicby Barry Meier, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative reporter for the New York Times and a 2002 recipient of a George Polk Award for outstanding journalism.

Meier is the keynote speaker at the Howard Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum today (September 24) at the Griffin Gate Marriott in Lexington. The Forum, hosted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, is focused on Substance Abuse in Kentucky. 

Foundation president and CEO Ben Chandler was invited to interview Meier on the WEKU current affairs program, Eastern Standard. Here is their conversation:

Tom Martin is co-publisher of  UnderMain and the producer and host of WEKU’s Eastern Standard.

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The author

Tom Martin is co-publisher of UnderMain and producer/host of the weekly public radio magazine program Eastern Standard on WEKU. Tom's 50 year career in media has included network news correspondent, newspaper editor, columnist, and student media advisor.