How the opioid crisis began - The Agenda explains

The seeds of the opioid crisis were sown in the mid 1990s, when pharmaceutical companies began promoting prescription opioid medication like OxyContin. But how did the epidemic slide from one of legal painkillers into illicit heroin use? Here Stephen Cole speaks to former addicts and their journey through loss and recovery.


- How can we ensure that the patients who need opioids can still get access to them without facing addiction? Stephen speaks to anaesthetics and pain medication expert Dr Jane Quinlan about whether regulation is the way out of the opioid crisis.

- How did the rise of prescription pain medication turn into an epidemic of heroin and fentanyl? Stephen speaks to author Patrick Radden Keefe about his new book 'Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty' and digs into whether the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing opioids knew what they were doing.

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