Apr 24, 2014 – Who Abuses

April 24, 2014

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ANCHOR LEAD: DO YOU HAVE A NOTION OF WHO ABUSES DRUGS? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

The recent death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman because of a heroin overdose underscores the problem of drug addiction in this country, and it’s not just street drugs that are killers. Prescription pain relievers are actually a bigger problem, but Eric Strain, a drug abuse expert at Johns Hopkins, says we also need to develop a better idea of who’s using.

STRAIN: Often we’ve got sort of a stereotypical notion of who is a drug abuser and we don’t think it will be the Phillip Seymour Hoffmans of the world perhaps. I can remember my mother decades ago commenting on the fact that Dick Van Dyke was an alcoholic, and she just couldn’t believe that he was an alcoholic because he seemed like such a nice young man. We really need to be aware of the fact that we have drug abusers who are our family members, our friends, our neighbors, it’s really pervasive and it affects all aspects of all lives. :30

Strain says effective intervention must reach all corners of our society. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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