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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 U.S., and asks whether federal drug policy privileges Big Pharma’s bottom line over larger concerns of public health.
Original air date: October 25, 2014
Fault Lines examines America's profitable bail bond industry—and how money determines who stays behind bars
Fault Lines reports from the Taliban stronghold of Charkh District as it attacks an Afghan National Army base
Fault Lines reports from Charkh District where the Taliban patrols the streets and has built a parallel government.