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Popular Podcast Digs Into ‘The United States of Opioids’

What does is it mean to live in a nation overcome with opioid addictions? It's a very valid question and one that the popular Yahoo Finance podcast Illegal Tender attempted to cover this week in a heavily downloaded episode entitled "The United States of Opioids."

Broken apart into three parts ("The Crisis In Our Backyard," "How The Drugs Travel" and "The Consequences That Come With The Stigma"), the nearly three hour piece digs deep into the massive impact this epidemic is having on our country as a whole. Beyond the death tolls, it explores the economic repercussions, the evolution of synthetic opioids and the potential future state of this crisis (just to name a few). We, for one, found it fascinating and a worthwhile listen from start to finish.

Noted investigative journalist Ben Westhoff participated in the production and earned some viral attention for the opinions he expressed across the episodes.

“We had prescription pills like Oxycontin,” he said when explaining the crisis' evolution. “That was the first wave of the opioid epidemic. Then people, when their prescriptions ran out, turned to street heroin, which was the second wave of the opioid epidemic. And now fentanyl is the third and it's the most deadly. It's hard to find pure heroin at all these days. And a lot of places, so much of it is cut with fentanyl and it's killing now more Americans than any other drug in history.”

The Yahoo site published an accompanying article for the podcast, which included a graphic fentanyl chart illustrating the havoc wreaked over the past two decades.
The podcast segments also include harrowing stories from addiction survivors who have suffered deeply because of the crisis. Many, in fact, were used to shoot down popular stigmas. As we've mentioned before, these dependencies do not discriminate and can just as often strike an educated, affluent individual as they can someone from a lower economic background.

“What happened is when I was probably like 13... I broke my collarbone and was prescribed opioids,” podcast participant Andrew Burki explained to the Illegal Tender hosts. “There's a misconception about who develops substance use disorder and that it's exclusively kids that are coming from broken families and that's actually not the case. And that wasn't the case for myself and that actually wasn't the case for my wife who’s also in long-term recovery.”

We highly recommend listening to the episode in its entirety. You can check out a preview by clicking below...