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PainKILLER Podcast

Author: Veterans Health Administration

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Exploring opioid dependence in America from the perspectives of subject matter experts in the field and those who are trying to positively influence this crisis.
Podcast episode title: The History of Opioids in America
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4 Episodes
Mr. David Schiller, spent 30 years working for the DEA. He oversaw the DEA’s Diversion Control Program and in 2014, him and his team of nine field divisions working with 12 U.S. attorney’s offices across 11 states wanted to revoke registrations for controlled substances for McKesson’s 30 drug warehouses. Along with wanting to fine the company more than $1 billion dollars, they also wanted to bring forward the first ever criminal case against McKesson for knowingly distributing opioids at the high rates they were to specific pharmacies and providers persistently. In this episode, Mr. Schiller will talk about his colleagues and he uncovered in this investigation.
In 2014, Ms. Cheryl Bartlett was Public Health Commissioner for the state of Massachusetts. Join us in this episode to hear about her journey with Massachusetts being the first state in this country to publicly declare a state of emergency for the opioid crisis. She will discuss her revelation that opioid addiction was a public health concern, the steps that were taken to gain national attention, and her professional experiences during this tumultuous time.
This episode will cover how addiction is processed in the human body. Dr. Karen Drexler, the National Mental Health Director of Addictive Disorders for the Veterans Affairs, will help us delve into questions addressing effective treatment options for opioid use disorder, as well share her personal experiences with her patients as a practicing psychiatrist for the past 30 years. Dr. Drexler will share her perspectives on policy change and physician barriers.
This episode will cover the evolution of this opioid epidemic in America. Mr. Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic will be discussing the heroin trade in America, it’s connection to prescription opioids, the medical community’s move towards pain management, pharmaceutical marketing, and general attitudes around poverty and social isolation. We will discuss the web of contributing factors that have created our current state as well as ideas on how to move forward.
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