Line One: Updates on the Opioid Epidemic

(Creative Commons photo by Punching Judy)

When the opioid epidemic first came about in the 1990s it was largely related to prescription drug medications for pain. From 1999 to 2021 nearly 280,000 people have died from overdose of these medications. However, as time has evolved so have the medications. Heroin is an illegal opioid that has killed 152,000 people in this same time frame. Its use rose in the 2010s, but its use is now actually declining in part due to the rise of Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic man made opioid that is extremely potent and is now being made illegally and can be mixed into other drugs. In 2021 alone it was responsible for 71,000 overdoses. It is now estimated that 60-70% of illicit pills contain fentanyl. Even more concerning is that Fentanyl is also being found in counterfeit prescription medications like Adderal and Xanax. On this episode of Line One, host Dr. Justin Clark explores the latest developments in the epidemic, as well as resources for those affected by it.

HOST: Dr. Justin Clark


  • Venus Woods, Director of HIV Prevention & Education at the Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association (Four A’s)
  • Coleman Cutchins, clinical pharmacist for the Alaska Department of Health

Project Hope
Talk of Alaska: Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at 10 a.m. AKDT
REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at 8 p.m. AKDT


Get updates on Line One: Your Health Connection and other Alaska Public Media podcasts here.

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