What's underlying today's heroin epidemic and what can be done about it? That was the focus of the opening hour of KQED's Forum yesterday morning, and Stanford addiction expert Keith Humphreys, PhD, was one of the panelists who weighed in on the issues. He talked about the connection between painkiller addiction and heroin use, the differences between heroin addicts these days versus those in the 1970s, and the use of Naloxone, which can reverse the effects of opioids. Noting that California recently passed a bill that makes this medication available at pharmacies, he said, "I would encourage anyone who is at risk for overdose, or loves someone who is at risk for overdose to get Naloxone."
Humphreys also referenced the relative lack of resources that goes into studying the heroin epidemic: "We don't seem to have the will to take this problem on the way we need to... The country really needs to spring into action. We did on AIDS, and we are not doing it here."
Previously: Heroin: The national epidemic and A focus on addiction, the country's leading cause of accidental death, Increasing access to an anti-overdose drug and A reminder that addiction is a chronic disease