America’s 150-Year Opioid Epidemic

America’s opioid epidemic is not a new one, but a revitalization of substance misuse catalyzed by doctors prescribing a profitable and effective drug. “What is striking is how, aside from some Victorian-era moralizing, they [those who overdose] feel so familiar to a 21st-century reader: Henderson developed an addiction at a vulnerable point in her life, found doctors who enabled it and then self-destructed. She was just one of thousands of Americans who lost their lives to addiction between the 1870s and the 1920s.”

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