In June of 2016, we sat down with Dr. Tom Gilson, the nationally known medical examiner from Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Hoping it might inform and help others, Dr. Gilson reviewed Sam McNeil’s report from the medical examiner of Palm Beach County.
Today, we revisit that discussion and uncover how some communities, such as the Baltimore Department of Health, are studying overdose victims to discover new prevention strategies to impede the opioid epidemic.
Also joining us today is Brittney Spencer, the Overdose Fatality Review (OFR) Coordinator for the Maryland Department of Health. Ms. Spencer and her team have been fighting the opioid epidemic since 2014, researching the autopsy reports, treatment admission reports, police reports, and medical records of overdose victims to identify missed opportunities for prevention.
This research helps the OFR collaborate with stakeholders to develop new programs for overdose prevention. These programs save lives and prevent substance use disorder in the future.
The OFR team has learned much from studying the opioid epidemic’s effect on their community. Through their efforts, this one team from Baltimore provides the framework for strategies and programs such as Levels of Care, EMS Leave Behind, and LEAD. Together, these resources provide the necessary response tools to influence and impact the worst health crisis in our country’s history.
Listen to today’s podcast for a detailed breakdown of Maryland’s impact against the opioid crisis, with Brittney Spencer.
In our three-part series with American Overdose author, Chris McGreal, we took an in-depth look at some of the policies and practices of the FDA that helped lead to our nation’s worst health crisis in history. During the series, I spoke with the former chair of the FDA advisory committee, who’s role is to review and advise on drugs under consideration for approval by the FDA. I was surprised by his responses to my questions, rejecting the notion that mistakes were made, despite the number of deaths the opioids approved during his tenure caused. My take away from this interview was that the FDA is stuck in an inflexible mindset, and has made no attempt to rectify the impact the opioid crisis has had on our country over the last twenty years. Unsettled, I decided to dig a little deeper to find out if my impressions were representative of the today’s FDA. To help me answer that question is Dr. Raeford Brown, who for the last five years has been the chair of the FDA’s anesthetic and analgesic drug products advisory committee. Listen to today’s podcast for insight into the FDA’s policies and practices from the inside, with Dr. Raeford Brown.
When award-winning author Chris McGreal sat down to write American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts, he wanted to answer two questions. The first: How could the opioid crisis go on for nearly 20 years before it reached public awareness? The second: Why did the opioid crisis happen in America, and nowhere else in the world? We uncover the answers to these questions and more, as we conclude our series on American Overdose.
Joining us today alongside author Chris McGreal are Congressman Hal Rodgers, and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Tom Frieden. Congressmen Rogers introduces us to Operation UNITE, Kentucky’s response to the opioid epidemic and Dr. Frieden reveals how the CDC sounded the alarm over the opioid crisis, while the rest of our government neglected to act.
What does this mean for the future of America, it’s policies and politics? How can we reform the medical industry? Is the end of the opioid crisis in sight?
Listen to today’s podcast for the comprehensive conclusion of our American Overdose discussion, with bestselling author Chris McGreal.
Hello to all! Alleluia, He is risen! Why do I begin with this statement because we are still in the Easter season. Now, I know you have put everything “Eastery” away. You have eaten all that wonderful food. Even the leftovers are gone. Maybe you are happy about that, but just think back to a few weeks ago.
If you are a church going person you would have participated in the special Easter liturgies. You would have carried a palm in church on Palm Sunday, reading about Jesus being hailed as a king. On Holy Thursday you would have seen the acting out of the foot washing by Jesus. Good Friday would have brought the reading of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. Holy Saturday would be the darkness of Jesus in the tomb. Then the fire being lit and all chanting “Light of Christ!” After forty days without Alleluias the bells would be rung the organ played and the choir singing Alleluia Christ is risen! How exciting! We were given new life.
Stop, take a quick check is that how we are living now? Are we living like Christians who have been given new life? Not so exciting in church is it? Same old? Well what changed? The fact is that we didn’t change. We’re not supposed to go back to the same old. We are commissioned to bring this new life into the world. Jesus needs us to do this. Easier said than done.
As I was thinking about this, I happened to go out on a small patio that we have. As I looked up into a nest that was built into an American Beauty climbing rose bush that we have. I noticed that among these brown thorns a bird had built a nest. The bush is beginning to look like it has some life, but the nest is nestled among the thorniest of its branches. There is an egg in there and it is beginning to hatch. In a few weeks that bush will be full of blooms and the bird would have flown away, but we can sing Alleluia new life! The bird laid its egg in a place that it would be protected in what was brown and thorny, but the bush too would come alive with life. Christ laid his life on a thorny painful cross, but he brought new life with His resurrection. What seems to the eye like something less than beautiful is in fact the means of our new life in Christ. So, do we forget the beauty of the resurrection? Just look around and we see signs of Christ all around us.
Bible V. Mt. 28: 20 “I am with you always until the end of the age.”
Prayer: Lord help me to see your new life all around me every day. Help me to live, as I believe, that you are with me, that you have risen. Help me to spread the good news to all people. Help my faith to be deep and to help others deepen their faith as well. Amen
Spotlight: Come to Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine to find new life. Come and pray at our Sunday Masses 8:00 AM and 9:30 AM (outdoor weather permitting.) Come on Sunday and have breakfast after the 9:30 AM Mass and lunch from Noon until 2:30 PM. Say the rosary at 4:00 PM and pray with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Need spiritual reminders visit our Gift Shop at 216-481-0900. Remember Christ has risen.
The Opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history, claiming over 350,000 lives since 1999. While many people have an idea of what caused the opioid crisis, few understand the why and how.
For example, how did a tragedy that started 20 years ago, only start gaining attention in 2017? How was the greatest drug crisis in American history allowed to go virtually unchecked for nearly two decades? Why is there still no end in sight?
To help answer these questions and more, today we’re joined by the award-winning author of American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts, Chris McGreal.
Together, in our first episode of a three-part series, we discuss the origin of the opioid epidemic, the negligent policies that allowed Big Pharma to profit from the suffering of patients, and new evidence on the FDA’s complicity in driving the mass over-prescription of opioids.
Listen to today’s podcast for Part 1 of our American Overdose discussion, with bestselling author Chris McGreal.
To follow along with our discussion, you can pick up Chris’ book American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts here.