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Travis Rieder has bleak outlook on the current state of America’s overdose crisis. The author of In Pain: A Bioethicist’s Personal Struggle With Opioids told the Straight that not only have authorities failed to reduce deaths, they’re also badly hurting people with their attempts.

In a telephone interview, Rieder explained that the epidemic that killed some 72,000 people in America in 2017 and roughly 4,000 in Canada was once largely driven by prescription opioids. And so regulators and law enforcement cracked down on doctors overprescribing addictive pain medications like OxyContin and Dilaudid. The problem, Rieder said, is that authorities continued with that response after it stopped working and despite its negative unintended consequences.

“We did actually slow overdose deaths from prescription opioids,” he noted. “But it didn’t slow the opioids crisis. It actually exacerbated it.

“Overdose-death rates have skyrocketed since then, and now we have this heroin and illicit-fentanyl crisis,” Rieder emphasized.

…continue reading ‘Travis Rieder’s Book In Pain Examines the Overdose Crisis’

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The Straight

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