MetroFocus

“NEW YORK’S OPIOID CRISIS”

Transcript

>> WE ARE CURRENTLY IN THE
MIDST OF THE DEADLIEST DRUG
EPIDEMIC IN U.S. HISTORY.
IN 2016, 64,000 AMERICANS DIED
FROM DRUG OVERDOSES DRIVEN BY A
DRAMATIC RISE IN THE USE OF
OPIOIDS.
WHAT CAUSES ADDICTION TO OPIOIDS
AND WHY IS IT SO CHALLENGING TO
TREAT?
THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF A NEW
EPISODE PREMIERING.
NOVA ADDICTION TAKES A LOOK AT
THE WAYS OPIOIDS AFFECT THE
BRAIN AND OF TREATMENTS THAT ARE
MOST EFFECTIVE AT SAVING LIVES.
HERE IS A PREVIEW.
>> INDIVIDUALS STRUGGLING WITH
ADDICTION ARE ACTUALLY BATTLING
MILLIONS OF YEARS OF EVOLUTION
BECAUSE OUR BRAINS ARE
EXQUISITELY EVOLVED TO SEEK
REWARDS.
>> IT IS THE CRAVING, THE
INABILITY.
>> A DANGEROUS COCKTAIL OF
BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE MADE
DEADLIER BY A DRUG 100 TIMES
MORE POTENT THAN MORPHINE.
FENTANYL IS SUPER TOXIC.
YOU GET A BATCH ON THE STREET
THAT IS A LITTLE BIT HOT ON
THOSE DAYS SOMEBODY IS GOING
DOWN.
>> AS PART OF OUR SPECIAL
PROGRAMMING ON THE OPIOID CRISIS
MADE POSSIBLE BY THE NEW YORK
STATE OFFICE OF ALCOHOLISM AND
SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES, WE ARE
JOINED BY THE WRITER, DIRECTOR
AND PRODUCER OF NOVA ADDICTION.
WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> SARAH, I KNOW THIS IS A BIG
QUESTION TO BEGIN WITH, IT CAN
TAKE UP THE WHOLE HALF HOUR OF
THE SHOW.
GIVEN WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED IN
THE COURSE OF MAKING THIS FILM,
WHAT ARE THE KEY FACTORS THAT
HAVE LED TO THIS OPIOID CRISIS?
>> I THINK IT IS INCREDIBLY
COMPLEX AND BEGAN WITH THE
OVER-PRESCRIPTION OF PAIN
KILLERS.
I WAS IN WEST VIRGINIA AND
LEARNED THAT 780 MILLION HIGHLY
ADDICTIVE PAIN PILLS WERE
SHIPPED TO THE STATE.
THERE ARE ONLY 2 MILLION
RESIDENTS.
AND SO YOU KNOW I THINK THAT
REALLY STARTED OFF AN EPIDEMIC
AT THE SAME TIME THE MEDICAL
PROFESSION WAS BEGINNING TO
TREAT PAIN.
TODAY PEOPLE ARE MUCH MORE
JUDICIOUS.
THAT WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE
CRISIS.
>> I THINK THE DOCUMENTARY MAKES
A VERY COMPELLING CASE THAT IT
IS NOW A DISEASE, A MEDICAL
CONDITION.
I WONDER IF YOU CAN TALK TO US
ABOUT HOW EXACTLY OPIOIDS
AFFECTS THE BRAIN.
>> SO, YOU KNOW, ONE THING THAT
ALL DRUGS HAVE IN COMMON
INCLUDING OPIOIDS IS THEY
RELEASE A CHEMICAL IN OUR BRAIN
CALLED DOPAMINE.
YOU NEED DOPAMINE TO GET OUT OF
BED IN THE MORNING.
DOPAMINE TELLS YOUR BRAIN TO PAY
ATTENTION.
YOU MAKE LOVE YOUR BRAIN IS
SAYING DO THAT AGAIN.
IT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR
SURVIVAL.
DRUGS RAISE OUR DOPAMINE LEVELS
UP TO TEN TIMES HIGHER THAN
NORMAL.
THEY ARE SOME OF THE MOST
POWERFUL EXPERIENCES YOUR BRAIN
CAN HAVE AND THEY LEAVE MEMORIES
THAT ARE INCREDIBLY HARD TO
FORGET.
THAT IS ONE REASON IT IS SO HARD
TO BREAK THE GRIP OF ADDICTION,
JUST LIKE YOU NEVER FORGET HOW
TO RIDE A BIKE OR THE BIRTH OF
YOUR FIRST CHILD, YOU ALMOST
NEVER FORGET ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR.
>> YOU TAKE A SCIENCE-BASED
APPROACH TO TREATMENT AND YOU
COVER VERY WELL WHAT WORKS AND
WHAT DOESN'T WORK.
TELL US WHAT YOU FOUND.
>> ONE OF THE THINGS WE FOUND,
THE EVIDENCE WAS REALLY
STRIKING, IS THAT WHEN IT COMES
TO THE DISORDER, WE HAVE
MEDICATIONS THAT ARE HELPING
PEOPLE GET BETTER.
THESE MEDICATIONS CUT THE RISK
OF OVERDOSE DEATH BY ABOUT HALF.
I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY YOU
ARE JUST REPLACING ONE DRUG WITH
ANOTHER.
THAT REALLY IS NOT REALLY FAIR
TO SAY THAT BECAUSE THE
DEFINITION OF ADDICTION IS
CONSUMING DRUGS COMPULSIVELY
DESPITE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES.
WHEN PEOPLE ARE GIVEN THE
MEDICATIONS THEY NO LONGER ARE
GETTING HIGH, THEY STABILIZE AND
CAN GO BACK TO WORK.
THEY ARE NOT PURSUING THE
NEGATIVE BEHAVIORS THAT
CHARACTERIZE ADDICTION.
>> SO THAT IS THE POSITION THAT
A DOCUMENTARY CLEARLY SHOWS AND
THE DOCTORS THAT YOU PROFILE IS
THE CASE.
IS THAT NOT YET THE CONSENSUS IN
THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY?
>> ONLY FOUR PERCENT OF THE
NATION'S DOCTORS CAN PRESCRIBE A
DRUG LIKE THIS.
WE HAVE EMERGENCY ROOMS ACROSS
THE COUNTRY WHERE PEOPLE HAVE
BEEN REVIVED FROM OVERDOSES BY
NARCAN AND THEN PATIENTS GO INTO
ACUTE OPIOID WITHDRAWAL, A VERY
PAINFUL CONDITION WHERE THEY ARE
WRAPPED BY CRAVINGS AND MOST
LIKELY GO BACK OUT AND USE
AGAIN.
WE SHOULD BE USING THESE
SITUATIONS IN E.R. ROOMS TO PUT
PEOPLE ON SABOXONE AND ONLY A
HANDFUL ARE PROVIDING THIS
TREATMENT.
FOR A LONG TIME ADDICTION HAS
NOT BEEN A PART OF THE MEDICAL
SYSTEM.
WE OUGHT TO TREAT ADDICTION LIKE
OTHER CHRONIC DISEASES.
GIVEN THE FACT THAT OVERDOSE IS
THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR
PEOPLE UNDER 50, WE NEED TO
ERASE ADDICTION AND BRING IT
INTO THE MEDICAL SYSTEM.
FAMILIES ARE LEFT TO NAVIGATE A
BROKEN SYSTEM OF CARE, PAY
EXORBITANT AMOUNTS FOR A LOT OF
TREATMENT.
AND THE SAD THING IS THAT WE ARE
PAYING FOR IT ANYWAY.
THE COSTS ARE UNSUSTAINABLE.
WE ARE SPENDING A TRILLION
DOLLARS A YEAR ON OUR ECONOMY,
LET ALONE THE HUMAN TOLL.
I REALLY THINK IT MAKES MUCH
MORE SENSE TO TREAT ADDICTION.
>> SO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR
SHARING THAT WITH US TODAY.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR DOCUMENTARY.
>> THANK YOU.
THANKS FOR HAVING ME.
>>> NOVA'S ADDICTION PREMIERES
WEDNESDAY AT 9:00 P.M. ON 13.


URL: https://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2018/10/new-yorks-opioid-crisis-3/