The War on Drugs

As the United States works through what the American Medical Association describes as “the worst drug addiction epidemic in its history,” we revisit the story of Dimitri. This former junkie was delivered from a 27-year heroin addiction by a controversial treatment that seems to work miracles for people addicted to opioids.

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For a generation of Appalachians, growing up with a parent addicted or abusing drugs is a way of life. On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear from men and women who have experienced the effects of opioid addiction and of the innocence that this epidemic has claimed.

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Earlier this week the Charleston Gazette-Mail published an investigative report about “pill mills” in southern West Virginia. These are pharmacies that accept and distribute extraordinarily large numbers of prescription painkillers. Some of the doctors who have sent patients to these pharmacies have since been indicted on federal charges related to drug trafficking and abuse.

Kara Lofton sat down with Gazette-Mail reporter Eric Eyre to talk about the current lawsuit surrounding the pharmacies and how they have fueled West Virginia’s drug epidemic.

Something has shifted in the way our society thinks about heroin addicts these days. Could it be that smack users are seeming more like “us” and less like “them?”

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting and PRX, this is "Us & Them," the podcast where we tell the stories about America's cultural divides.

John Londono

 

This week, "A Change of Tune" host Joni Deutsch interviews Andrew Barr of The Barr Brothers, an up-and-coming Canadian quartet with roots in American folk, African desert, Delta blues and classical string, to say the least. The band's newest record, Sleeping Operator, just goes to prove that The Barr Brothers are the Ra Ra Riot of transcendental folk. Check out the interview below to learn more about the band, their longform music style and their connections to alt music friends The War on Drugs and of Montreal. If you're a fan of sprawling soundscapes that are as much warm as they are catchy (see: Bahamas), this interview and music are recommended for you.