opioids | KALW

opioids

"U.S. Life Expectancy Falls as Opioid Deaths Rise" by Clear Sky Treatment Centers, used under CC license, resized and cropped

Host Joseph Pace and guests explore the “Wild West” of California’s drug rehabilitation industry.

Dependence: a story of motherhood and addiction

Jan 29, 2019
Rachel Cassandra / KALW

Bay Area reporter Rachel Cassandra spent nine months reporting in Fresno, a city with a long history of high rates of intravenous drug use. Rachel met Amanda, who is struggling with both homelessness and heroin addiction. This is her story, as told in the audio documentary, Dependence.

Cary Bass-Deschenes / Flikr Creative Commons, used under CC BY-SA 2.0

So many people are dying from opioid overdoses in the United States that these deaths have fueled an overall decline in life expectancy in 2017. Doctors in the Bay Area are responding by bringing medication for opioid addiction to people in unconventional places, like homeless encampments, emergency rooms, hospitals, and jails.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

In California, deaths related to Fentanyl overdoses have spiked, and it’s still hard to find treatment for opioid addiction. A medication called buprenorphine, more commonly known by the brand name Suboxone, can help.

Portrait by Josh Meltzer


  Drug overdose is the leading cause of death for Americans under age 50. In her new book, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America, journalist Beth Macy traces the opioid epidemic back to its roots.

Heroin and Harm Reduction

Feb 17, 2014
Scott Griessel / MostPhotos

The tragic death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman has brought both cultural and media attention to a recent spike in heroin deaths related to painkiller addiction.

We look at the impact of new forms of dangerous heroin, the effects on users, and overdose prevention efforts--particularly in San Francisco--that are saving lives … and money.

Guests: