Title of Abstract

The United States Opioid Epidemic: History, Impact and Recovery

Poster Number

30

Submitting Student(s)

Taylor James

Session Title

Poster Session 1

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

William Schulte, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Mass Communication

Abstract

For decades the United States has been fighting to get a grip on the raging opioid epidemic sweeping the nation. Despite all efforts to discontinue the production and prescription of multiple addictive drugs, the streets have now been overrun by illegal substances that replace these opioids with more addictive counterparts and have resulted in the loss of thousands of lives. The main culprits in this epidemic are prescription drugs including Oxycontin and street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. This three-part project highlights their addictive components and the new treatments currently used to address dependency on these drugs. The goal of this project is to educate the public using facts on these narcotics, to highlight how government agencies are enforcing laws, and to report what the United States is actively doing to aid impacted communities. This project uses open records, public documents, information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and in-depth interviews as a support for this reporting. This body of work is split into a three-part project. The first project is a deep dive into the history of opioids and their relationship with the United States dating from the 1800s to the present. This piece discusses a timeline of the introduction of different opioid substances into the U.S. and their initial purpose. The second part looks at the United States government’s involvement in the opioid crisis and the legal repercussions drug companies, as well as practicing physicians, face. The third part of this project covers current solutions the United States government has set in place to fight this epidemic and highlights what other countries are implementing to combat addiction that could also benefit the United States.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

The United States Opioid Epidemic: History, Impact and Recovery

For decades the United States has been fighting to get a grip on the raging opioid epidemic sweeping the nation. Despite all efforts to discontinue the production and prescription of multiple addictive drugs, the streets have now been overrun by illegal substances that replace these opioids with more addictive counterparts and have resulted in the loss of thousands of lives. The main culprits in this epidemic are prescription drugs including Oxycontin and street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. This three-part project highlights their addictive components and the new treatments currently used to address dependency on these drugs. The goal of this project is to educate the public using facts on these narcotics, to highlight how government agencies are enforcing laws, and to report what the United States is actively doing to aid impacted communities. This project uses open records, public documents, information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and in-depth interviews as a support for this reporting. This body of work is split into a three-part project. The first project is a deep dive into the history of opioids and their relationship with the United States dating from the 1800s to the present. This piece discusses a timeline of the introduction of different opioid substances into the U.S. and their initial purpose. The second part looks at the United States government’s involvement in the opioid crisis and the legal repercussions drug companies, as well as practicing physicians, face. The third part of this project covers current solutions the United States government has set in place to fight this epidemic and highlights what other countries are implementing to combat addiction that could also benefit the United States.