American Opioid Epidemic (02:34)
Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for those under age 50. Prescription pain medication fuels the epidemic; many people turn to heroin and fentanyl.
Prescription Drugs (04:03)
Michael Israel's parents, Avi and Julie, reflect on his death. The majority of drug-related deaths involve opioids. Doctors have over-exposed the American population to opioids; many people turn to heroin and fentanyl.
Prescribing Narcotics (03:33)
Avi and Julie discuss Michael's pain toward the end of his life and his opioid prescriptions. Doctors write over 240 million prescriptions for opioids each year; opioids hijack the brain,
Non-discriminating Epidemic (07:17)
Opioid addiction affects all ages, races, and socioeconomic groups. West Virginia has one of the highest opioid prescription rates, overdoses, and deaths in the U.S. Oceana Middle School students share their experiences with Sen. Joe Manchin.
Treating Pain (04:11)
Experts discuss the evolution of opioid use since the 1990s; pain is the main reason people visit a doctor. Pharmaceutical companies laud the benefits of opioid treatment.
Blockbuster Drug (02:55)
Pharmaceutical companies face legal charges, but opioids remain one of the highest prescribed drugs in the U.S. Avi believes the American health care system is about making money.
Health Insurers and Pain Management (04:32)
The economic impact of the opioid crisis is $75 billion a year. Insurers gather information on doctors' opioid prescribing habits. In 2016, the CDC creates guidelines for prescribing opioids to treat chronic pain.
Alternative Treatments (04:00)
Insurance coverage varies among companies and states. Approximately 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. An interdisciplinary team focuses on pain management, quality of life, and opioid use reduction.
Heroin Addict (03:57)
Reporters reflect on stories of opioid addiction and loss. Jennifer Welss discusses her son's addiction and death. Nearly half of all heroin users were first addicted to prescription painkillers; overdose deaths are on the rise.
Youth Addiction (03:12)
Welss discusses starting a youth recovery program after the death of her son. A man discusses his struggle with addiction that began at age 15.
Addiction Treatment (05:06)
Opiate addiction is a chronic disease and requires a lifelong multimodal approach to treatment. Research suggests that relapse is likely, but it does not mean failure.
Stigma of Addiction (03:02)
Access to treatment is a challenge for many. Addiction can trigger responses based on ignorance and prejudice. Avi and Julie discuss their perceptions on addiction and campaign for awareness.
Battling the Opioid Epidemic (06:16)
Small signs of progress are appearing; prevention is key to a long-term approach. Experts discuss the need for education. Avi and Julie reflect on the impact of Michael's death.
Credits: Understanding the Opioid Epidemic (00:31)
Credits: Understanding the Opioid Epidemic
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