The nation’s opioid epidemic has never been deadlier. The Centers for Disease Control Prevention says 100,000 people died of drug overdoses over the last year — a 30 percent increase from the year before and an all-time high. As William Brangham reports, these deaths are fueled by the rise of the extremely potent synthetic opioid, fentanyl.
Kentucky has the third-highest drug overdose death rate in the United States. KET is working to elevate awareness of the complex issues that surround this public health crisis through the Inside Opioid Addiction initiative. Funded in part by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, this initiative explores the many dimensions of this crisis and pathways toward solutions. Learn more about KET’s opioid initiative
After more than two years of negotiations, a number of states agreed to a $26 billion settlement with three large drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson for their roles in the opioids epidemic. Half a million deaths over two decades are attributed to opioids and fatal overdoses. William Brangham discusses the settlement with Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who worked on this agreement.
Dr. Tuckson welcomes Matt Brown, vice-president of administration at Addiction Recovery Care (ARC), a multi-service addiction recovery provider in 17 counties in Kentucky. Using his own story from addiction to recovery as an example, Brown shares the best strategies for achieving and maintaining sobriety from drug and alcohol abuse and how ARC can help at each step.
Monday, Oct. 21 was supposed to be the start of a landmark trial against drug companies and distributors. But before arguments could start, several companies announced a $260 million settlement with two Ohio counties. With lawsuits still pending from thousands of communities, can a bigger national settlement be reached? William Brangham talks with Lenny Bernstein of the Washington Post for more.
Renee Shaw speaks with state medical and public health officials about what can be done to address three of Kentucky’s biggest health risks: smoking, obesity and diabetes, and substance abuse. The forum was produced in conjunction with the 2019 Kentucky Medical Association Annual Meeting. Read highlights from the forum and watch the video here.
Renee speaks with Andrea James, community response strategist in Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton’s Office about a future workgroup that will guide approaches to curbing substance abuse in central Kentucky. And, in a separate segment, Sharon Walsh, Ph.D., director of the University of Kentucky’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research talks about UK’s $87 million grant that seeks to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 40% in 16 Kentucky counties.
Renee speaks with U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, who represents Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District. They discuss new developments in combating the opioid epidemic, gun legislation, coal company bankruptcies and miners’ black lung and pension benefits, as well as Rogers’ efforts to reduce robocalls.
Laura Santhanam ofPBS NewsHour reports on an Aug. 26 ruling from a judge in Oklahoma that marketing tactics used by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson contributed to the opioid crisis. This decision — which requires the the company and and its subsidiary to pay the state more than $572 million — could signal what’s ahead for other drug companies facing lawsuits across the country.
In his latest Making $ense blog, PBS NewsHour’s Philip Moeller answers readers’ questions about Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other programs, including an inquiry from a person who had her rehabilitation treatment for a Xanax addiction denied by Medicare.