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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Prescription Painkillers And Heroin


Since Philip Seymour Hoffman's death a couple of weeks ago, there's been a lot of discussion of the rise of heroin use in the US (twice what it was in 2007), but there hasn't been enough of a conversation about the use of prescription painkillers as a gateway to heroin. On my America Weekend show, I talked with Dr. Stephen Lankenau, a sociologist at Drexel University, who has surveyed drug users and understands how those powerful legal pills get abused and can lead to illegal narcotics.

We also talked about how people like Hoffman, who hadn't used heroin for more than two decades, can fall back into their addiction, and why a new drug called naloxone is helping save the lives of users who overdose on narcotics.

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