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Opioid Epidemic
America’s Deadly Addiction

Third Wave Video

Thad Polk, Ph.D.

University of Michigan

Follow one of the top cognitive neuroscientists to discover how opioids affect our brains and how they have contributed to an alarming crisis of overuse and even death in this country.

Drug overdose is the single most common cause of death for people under 50 years old in the U.S. and the numbers have rocketed up just in the last two decades, averaging 175 deaths per day. Professor Thad Polk attributes one of the causes to the use of opioids, which have seen an upswing in popularity after pharmaceutical companies and doctors advocated their use for chronic pain in the 1990s. Join this award-winning professor of psychology to explore these shocking numbers as he delves into how opioids affect our brains, why they are so addictive, and what we can do to counter this crisis.

Some Surprising Stats

In 2012, doctors prescribed enough opioid prescriptions for every adult to have their own supply for an entire month.

In 2016, 12 states recorded more prescriptions for painkillers in the state than there were people.

Over 2 million Americans are estimated to be addicted to opioids.

Gateway Drug: 80% of heroin addicts turned to it after previously misusing a prescription painkiller.

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