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The Science Of Addiction And Bexar County’s Opioid Task Force 1 Year Later

Courtesy NOVA

Drugs overdoses are now the leading cause of death for people under the age of 50 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2016, about 64,000 Americans died from an overdose, driven by a dramatic rise in the abuse of painkillers and narcotics. The opioid class of drugs – which includes street drugs like heroin as well as branded prescriptions like Oxycontin and Vicodin – accounted for more than 66 percent of those overdoses nationwide.

Last year, Bexar County assembled a Joint Opioid Task Force to combat the epidemic. The group has since pushed a few key initiatives, such as training police officers to respond to an overdose, and even filing a lawsuitchallenging big-name drug manufacturers. 

What progress has been made in fighting the opioid crisis locally?

What causes addiction and why is it so challenging to treat? What can new discoveries about the brain show us about how to treat the country's opioid epidemic?

Part 1 Guests: 

The NOVA "Addiction" documentary premieres Wednesday, October 17, at 8 p.m. on San Antonio's PBS station KLRN.

Part 2 Guests: 

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. During the live show, call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet at @TPRSource. 

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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.