The opioid and heroin epidemic has caused massive destruction suffering and pain.
After rising for many decades, America’s life expectancy rate has dropped for the past two years in a row. Nearly 50 thousand Americans last year were the victims of opioid overdose deaths--twice the rate of other wealthy nations.
But now, because of impressive initiatives to tackle the crisis, there are small glimmers of hope. The death-rate might be starting to fall. This month, a New York Times report highlighted a plunge in fatal overdoses in Dayton, Ohio, which had one of the highest rates in 2017.
Among the possible solutions we hear about is GROW, a local effort that dispatches teams of social workers, medics, police officers and recovery experts to the homes of people who've overdosed. We also discuss the FDA's approval of the controversial synthetic opioid, Dsuvia, to treat cases of extreme pain, and the recent passage of a bipartisan bill to fight the epidemic.
For this episode, we include last year's "How Do We Fix It?" interview with journalist Sam Quinones, author of the highly praised book, "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic."