CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

The Painful Truth About America’s Opioid Addiction

Our Craving for Comfort and Our Broken Health Care System Are Fueling a Deadly Epidemic

Lisa Girion, a Reuters top news editor for the Americas and the moderator of a Zócalo/UCLA panel on America’s opioid addiction problem, opened the discussion with some startling statistics. “Over the last 15 years, more than 200,000 people have died of drug deaths in this country,” most due to prescription opioids but increasingly heroin as well, she said. “20 million people are currently addicted in this country to both legal and illegal drugs. Only 10 percent of them manage to get treatment.”What is driving this problem and how can we combat it? In front of an engaged audience at Downtown Independent on Wednesday night, people immersed in the legal, medical, and cultural aspects of this problem offered their experiences, research, and thoughts, beginning with the origins of the epidemic.UCLA legal scholar and health policy expert Jill Horwitz, who has been …