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America’s Opioid Epidemic: A Prescription for Change

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a well known expert on the opioid crisis in the United States reports on the ever-worsening opioid epidemic that has plagued the nation for over two decades.


For more than 20 years, the United States has been grappling with an escalating opioid crisis, setting records for opioid overdose deaths every year.

“Every year, we’ve set a record for deaths from opioid overdose in the US, and then the next year, we break that record.”

Dr. Kolodny lamented.

Dr. Kolodny highlighted that, unlike China, where no cases of illicit Fentanyl abuse have been discovered, the United States faces a vastly different reality. The root of America’s opioid addiction problem lies in the over-prescription of medically necessary opioids.

Explaining the origins of the crisis, Dr. Kolodny pointed to a campaign that begun approximately 25 years ago. This multifaceted campaign aimed to alter the medical community’s perception of prescription opioids. Doctors were bombarded with messages claiming that they weren’t prescribing enough opioids, that patients were suffering unnecessarily, and that opioids were a benevolent gift from Mother Nature. It was asserted that real addiction to opioids was exceedingly rare, leading to an increase in opioid prescriptions.

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Ethan Derman, an expert on drug policy and the founder of Drug Policy Aligns, has emphasized that tackling the supply side alone is futile. As long as there is demand, there will be a supply. The creative methods of underground chemists and their ability to identify alternative chemicals underscore the complexity of the issue.

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