Focus on Public Health Policy

Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop

February 5, 201718 min
Host: John J. Russell, MD Three out of four people addicted to heroin probably started on a prescription opioid, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United States alone, 16,000 people die each year as a result of prescription opioid overdose. But perhaps the most frightening aspect of the prescription drug epidemic is that it’s built on well-meaning doctors treating patients with real problems. Host Dr. John Russell chats with Dr. Anna Lembke, Chief of Addiction Medicine and an Assistant Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Lembke is the author of Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop, exploring how the prescription drug epidemic is a symptom of a faltering health care system, the solution for which lies in rethinking how health care is delivered.

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