BBC: What’s behind US opioid addiction?
“I remember looking at some of the early federal reports involvingopioidpain killers and overdose deaths and they had increased so rapidly, when I was looking at the data I was convinced someone had put a decimal point in the wrong place,” Dr. AndrewKolodny said.
Kolodny is a senior scientist at Brandeis University and executive director ofPhysicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. He spent time working in addiction medicine in New York City during the early2000s.
“The sharp increase was very real and what we would ultimately come to recognize is that we were at the beginning of a new, very severe epidemic,”Kolodnysaid.
Opioids are pain killers which have a similar effect to heroine and are derived from the same source – opium.
They were traditionally only given to people with terminal cancer or used briefly after major surgery, Kolodny said. Other uses of these highly addictive drugs were considered too risky.
But in the late 90’s, that reluctance began to change.
For the full story from the BBC, listen above.
Copyright 2021 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.