The opioid crisis: Part 1 — The roots of addiction | FACES OF POLICY

Jay Armstrong: I took all the pills that I had…
I took ’em all. Jay Armstrong: Hi, my name is Jay Armstrong. Matt Peterson: My name is Matt Peterson Justin Ponton: Justin Ponton. Kelvin Young: My
name is Kelvin Young. Justin Ponton: The first time I’d ever used any substance at all I drank
with a couple of friends of mine. And I tried marijuana the same time. The
heavy substance abuse really happened at the age of 21. Sally Satel: Prescription opioid abuse
is a lot more complicated than the media and politicians make it out to be. Jay Butler: Too often, sports-related injuries managed with opioid pain relievers have been the
beginning of a path to addiction. Sally Satel: It’s true that some people who get
prescription opioids from their doctors do become addicted to them. But the
majority of people who abuse opioid painkillers typically get them from
their friends, relatives. Jay Armstrong: So I’m 14, 15, 16 years old, and the guys I’m hanging out
with they’re all 21 to 30 years old. At one point they broke out some Dilaudids,
which is a pharmaceutical opiate that you can break down and inject. And it
took me to the same place mentally and emotionally that alcohol did. But I
didn’t, you know, try to fight anybody. I didn’t puke, I didn’t pee my pants, I
didn’t try to take my clothes off in public or any of the other crazy stuff
that I was doing with alcohol. And you know, at the time it was like a miracle!
Like, oh my god, like why didn’t we find this sooner? Sally Satel: The fact is that many of
these individuals already have experience abusing drugs, from alcohol to
marijuana to inhalants to drugs like valium. Kelvin Young: For me I started drinking when I
was about 13, 14 years old. So by the time I reached age 26, 27, I
“graduated,” so to speak, to cocaine and heroin. Matt Peterson: So at 13 I started
drinking and smoking pot, and then… probably about two years later, cocaine
was introduced. The first time I abused opiate painkillers, I had my wisdom
teeth taken out and my friends they taught me how to crush up a pill and
then snort it. Justin Ponton: I started selling prescription pills. I was selling cocaine,
crack, heroin, weed… anything I could pretty much get my hands on. And then I
started using the drugs myself. Sally Satel: At least half of all individuals whose overdose deaths are attributed to an opioid also have some other drug in their system at
death. And it’s these drugs in combination that are especially deadly. Jay Armstrong: I didn’t plan on living another second, so
I didn’t try to go to a place where I could hide. I took all the pills that I
had. I took ’em all. And I did all the heroin that I got, because I know mixing
benzos with opiates does the trick, you know… and it should have done the
trick. Sally Satel: People who use drugs of all kinds are people who are trying to medicate some sort of deep inner distress. It doesn’t
mean they’re bad people. It means they’re desperately looking for a way out and
can’t figure out anything but drugs. Justin Ponton: A lot of the reasons why I did initially
begin to use substances was a lot due to low self esteem, no sense of self-worth
and insecurities. Jay Armstrong: The theme of my childhood is that I didn’t feel wanted, I
didn’t feel like I belonged, and I felt afraid. Kelvin Young: Growing up as the youngest
of five… I felt different. I felt less than. When I did heroin… I felt good.
You know, it numbed that feeling of… feeling less than, inadequate. Matt Peterson: Me growing
up as an only child, the son of a pastor… I just wanted to fit in. But when I smoked pot
and drank for the first time, I felt felt accepted. Sally Satel: It’s true that doctors have
over-prescribed opioids in the past and now they’ve been cutting back since
around 2011 and this is a good development. However, what doctors do in
their office will have no effect on people who never got the prescription
opioids from their doctors and it also has unintended consequences for patients
who truly are in pain and need those medications.

15 thoughts on “The opioid crisis: Part 1 — The roots of addiction | FACES OF POLICY”

  1. The single worst drug currently used to abuse society on vast scales today, is "Greed". Its addictive effects are destructive and long lasting.

    Is this financed by the perdue pharma cartell? Don`t support El Chapo clan or Sackler clan, the two biggest competitors in production, trade and distribution of opioids on earth.

  3. Opioids have become unavailable in America.

    Opiates have been unfairly demonized in the US…

    just because of all the crippling addiction and fatal overdoses they left in their wake for the last two or three decades…

    It's unfair.

    People should stop maligning opiates. They are a fine class of drugs: beloved by many a gentleman-scholar like myself.
    💊 🎩📚👍

    People should quit acting like opiates are dangerous and addictive. It's nonsense.

    👉 rampant opiophobia 🇺🇸

    People need to stop talking smack about cocaine too.
    Coke is another widely misunderstood and completely harmless recreational substance.
    Just because it kills people doesn't mean it's bad.

    The Army kills people.
    And we all ❤ the troops. 🇺🇸

    It's time we looked at opiates and cocaine like the troops.
    Deadly? Arguably, yes.
    Necessary? Fuck yes, of course!

    Sweet Lady Opium & the humble Coca Leaf…
    Demonized by ignorance 😢

  4. Yes but now they are killing patients who need these medicines. Took theirs away. They are dying in horrible deaths. Just to push their new drug of choice Suboxone. Which doesn't help with pain. I can understand the addiction side of things. But to take them away from suffering patients with painful incurable diseases is straight genocide. 22 veterans a day suiciding from lack of pain medicines. Cancer patients. This needs to end now! 😠

  5. First problem: Government thinks people are getting prescription drugs from doctors on the street. Government then proceeds to tell doctors not to prescribe them to responsible people in need.

    Reality: Street opioid drugs are made in basements and shipped in from other countries by drug cartels.

    The reason people do drugs is because they want to. Life sucks, instead of committing suicide, they do drugs. Drugs makes this shit hole seem easier to deal with.

    There are in fact responsible people that do drugs and dont get addicted to them or have it even ruin their life. I have done drugs all my life and I still function as a normal person.

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