The nation's drug epidemic, specifically the abuse of heroin and opiates, has earned center stage in politics and pop culture alike. The fact that we're talking about the devastating disease of addiction is welcome progress; those of us in the treatment field have been promoting awareness and de-stigmatization for years.
When it comes to drug overdose, we may be winning one battle, but losing the war. As deaths involving prescription painkillers are leveling off, the latest stats on heroin fatalities could not be more dire. What's often lost behind the headlines is that the trends in prescription painkiller and heroin abuse are linked.