Discover more from Random Minds by Katherine Brodsky
The Opioid Prohibition
...with Peter Pischke (Forbidden Conversations Podcast, episode 15)
Many of us only hear about opioids from one perspective—generally that of doctors over-prescribing them and patients getting addicted. Or worse, some of them ending up on the black market. I’ve heard many such stories myself, including directly from those who were affected by these addictions and struggled to get out from under them.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in the United States alone, an estimated 2.1 million people had an opioid use disorder in 2019 and opioid overdoses accounted for over 47,000 deaths in 2018. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2020, 1.7 million people in the US had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers.
Such statistics have led to what my guest on this episode of the Forbidden Conversations podcast refers to as the “opioid prohibition” and it affects him personally.
Peter Pischke has been disabled since age 18, starting with chronic pancreatitis, further developing diabetes, severe eyesight problems with photophobia (extreme light sensitivity) and autoimmune issues. His health condition is very painful, but the current state of medicine and regulations around opioids have made him unable to get effective pain treatment.
What make his alternative perspective valuable is that not only does he have personal experience dealing with the lack of access to opioids for his pain management, but also because he is a disabled journalist who investigates health and disability issues, especially the opioid crisis and its devastating impact.
He challenges the myths and stigma of opioid prohibition while promoting evidence-based policies. His work has appeared in publications such as Reason, Newsweek, NY Daily News, and USA Today. He is a member of Young Voices. You can find him on Twitter @happywarriorp or tune in to his podcast with Baen Books, CultureScape, where he interviews the geek creators who shaped nerd culture.
The FORBIDDEN CONVERSATIONS Podcast is a series that takes on topics that don't always get attention or are more challenging to tackle and seeks to address them through civil discourse and nuanced exploration. To view all episodes so far, visit here. Please subscribe, like and comment. You know, all the YouTube things. It helps a LOT!
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