28 October 2016 | By:Kevin Trieu
In his most recent segment, John Oliver shines a light on an issue near and dear to a Preventionist’s heart right now: the opioid epidemic in America. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), and estimated 4.3 million Americans used prescription painkillers in the last month for non-medical purposes (in 2014). I have also written extensively about the opioid epidemic, even though opioids are not an issue that we see in the Chinatown community, but it has been a large national story, and has even been a part of the election cycle this year. Though, the issue of the opioid epidemic has been on a lot of people’s minds lately, it rarely creeps into the realms of pop-culture. A few weeks ago, Rapper Macklemore, with a little help from President Barack Obama, released a documentary on MTV investigating the issues of opioids and heroin. This was probably the last and only time that this issue has been able to reach into the pop-culture world, so to have John Oliver raise awareness in a thoughtful, smart, and ultimately humorous way, is a wonderful sight.
However, John Oliver did not just talk about opioids and heroin in the context of addiction, but more talked about how pharmaceutical companies played a large roll in fueling the epidemic. This is a key part in the issue and something that very, very few people talk about.
John Oliver also gives a little shout out to SAMHSA and US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. You can find the video clip here. WARNING: the video is a bit not safe for work, so watch at your own employment/ education peril!
What do you think of all this attention that opioids and heroin are getting? Comment below.
Story can be found here.
We covered the issue of heroin and opioids a lot on our website. Links to those stories can be found below: