NCR Podcast: New approaches to the opioid crisis


Bottles of opioid-based medication are seen at a pharmacy in Portsmouth, Ohio. (CNS/Bryan Woolston, Reuters)
Bottles of opioid-based medication are seen at a pharmacy in Portsmouth, Ohio. (CNS/Reuters/Bryan Woolston)

The opioid epidemic has swept through America, leaving devastation in its wake, affecting union halls and congregations alike. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in 2017, more than 72,000 people died from drug overdoses, about 68 percent of those deaths a result of opioid use.

On the show today:

  • Elizabeth Eisenstadt-Evans, contributor to NCR and Global Sisters Report and religion columnist for Lancaster Newspapers, Inc.

Background reading:

  • In response to destruction caused by opioid addiction in the U.S., faith-based groups have partnered with labor union pension funds and other fund managers to improve accountability and corporate culture in pain pill manufacturers and distributors.
  • For Global Sisters Report, Eisenstadt-Evans reported on two Catholic sisters working in the gritty depths of the strip-mining South and in a university town in the Midwest to create a future in which opioid addicts have options beyond the next fix. They don't know each other — but, from the way their friends and coworkers describe them, they share one strikingly similar trait: They don't give up easy.
  • From 2017: Bishop Edward Malesic of Greensburg in a pastoral letter called the opioid crisis in this country a scourge and urged the people of his diocese to take action against it.

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