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Full Episodes Now Online

Punishment and Profits: Immigration Detention - FULL EPISODE

WATCH: Fault Lines investigates the business of immigrant detention in the U.S.

Topics:
U.S.
Immigration
Prison

Baltimore: Anatomy of an American City - FULL EPISODE

Watch: Fault Lines investigates the interplay of race, poverty and incarceration in a U.S. election year.

Topics:
U.S.
Baltimore
Race & Ethnicity

Life After Guantanamo - FULL EPISODE

WATCH: Fault Lines travels to Yemen to explore the consequences of the U.S. policy of indefinite detention.

Topics:
International
Middle East
Counterterrorism
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'Opioid Wars'



PREMIERING THIS WEEK

Opioid Wars

In the midst of the worst epidemic of drug addiction and overdose in U.S. history, Fault Lines investigates why the FDA approved a powerful new opioid painkiller.



Joel Van Haren for Al Jazeera America

Behind the recent flurry of headlines about a massive surge in heroin use is a much more widespread wave of addiction to legal opioids—OxyContin, Vicodin and other painkillers.

One recent study found that 4 in 5 heroin users previously abused prescription opioids. In the last 15 years, at least 100,000 people have died from prescription opioid abuse. 

Last fall, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a powerful, new painkiller called Zohydro, a pure form of hydrocodone that contains five to 10 times the opiate level of Vicodin. The FDA approved Zohydro even though its own advisory committee voted 11 to 2 against approval, citing the drug’s potential to exacerbate the opioid abuse epidemic.

Fault Lines examines the opioid epidemic in the US, and asks whether federal drug policy privileges Big Pharma’s bottom line over larger concerns of public health.


CREDITS:
Executive Producer: Mathieu Skene, Senior Producer: Carrie Lozano @carrielozano, Correspondent: Sebastian Walker @sebwalker, Producer: Samuel Black @potter_black, Director of Photography: Joel Van Haren @joelvanharen, Editor: Lindy Jankura @lindyjank, Associate Producer: Abdulai Bah @africandobah Digital Producer: Nikhil Swaminathan @sw4mi, Production Manager: Shannon Stanley @ShanStan, Dana Merwin @dana_merwin, Production Assistance: Lauren Rosenfeld @lollymr, Deborah Reeb, Mark Kurlyandchik @MKurlyandchik, Lynne Shallcross @LShallcross, Sara Lafleur-Vetter @lafleurius

More from This Episode

More on Opioid Addiction

DEA imposes restrictions on hydrocodone amid painkiller addiction epidemic

The new regulations reclassify Vicodin and similar drugs to same category as cocaine, limits prescriptions to 90 days

Topics:
Health
Public health
DEA

Groups call for FDA chief’s replacement amid painkiller abuse ‘epidemic’

Fed Up Coalition: ‘Without new leadership at the FDA, the opioid crisis will continue unabated’

Topics:
Health
HHS
FDA

A Lazarus drug goes mainstream in the heroin war

In Georgia, race of overdose victims may be a factor in new legislation expanding access to naloxone

Topics:
Health
U.S.
Drugs

Featured Stories

Inside a Yazidi refugee camp in Iraq

Fault Lines correspondent captures the difficult lives of a displaced sect in Iraq

Topics:
Refugees
International
ISIL

Military historian: US policy in Islamic world has been a failure

Retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich discusses the US fight against ISIL, 'the third Iraq War'

Topics:
International
ISIL
Islamic State

Are families of cross-border shooting victims a step closer to justice?

An appeals court decision and an inquiry into Border Patrol agents' use of force could propel lawsuits forward

Topics:
U.S.
Customs and Border Protection
Borders

Previous Episodes

Chasing Bail

Fault Lines examines America's bail bond industry, and how money determines who stays behind bars while awaiting trial.

Topics:
U.S.
Crime
Poverty

Space, Inc.

Fault Lines explores what happens when corporations go in search of profits in the unregulated territory that is space.

Topics:
Space
International
U.S.

Children At Work

Fault Lines’s Wab Kinew investigates how children are hired by US agriculture to help put food on America’s tables.

Topics:
Economy


About Fault Lines

We live in a world run through with Fault Lines. Al Jazeera's Fault Lines takes you beyond the headlines and holds the powerful to account, as we examine the US' role in the world.


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