Epidemiology Counts – Episode 9 “Opioids”

We are in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. More American lives have been lost to drug overdoses than were lost either at the height of the AIDS epidemic, or during the Vietnam war. There has been a lot of recent debate about what has caused this epidemic, and to what extent is the pharmaceutical industry at the root of this problem. Yet a lot of questions remain about this issue. Why do we say we are in the midst of an epidemic, and how has this epidemic evolved? How has the opioid overdose epidemic affected US life expectancy? What factors have contributed to this problem, and what role has the pharmaceutical industry played? Are we seeing the same problem in other countries? What is being done to address the opioid overdose epidemic, and how effective are these different types of approaches? In this episode, guests Dr. Magdalena Cerdá, Director of the NYU Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy, and Dr. Noa Krawczyk, Assistant Professor of the NYU Department of Population Health, join Matt Fox to discuss these fundamental questions and to offer some thoughts on ways forward to address this critical public health problem.