Did Prescription Opioids Cause The Overdose Epidemic?

Doctors Adriane Fugh-Berman and Jeffrey Singer debate the harms of prescription opioids


Has America's overdose crisis been caused by doctors over treating patients with opioids? 

That was the subject of this month's Soho Forum debate, held at the Sheen Center in downtown Manhattan.

Adriane Fugh-Berman defended the proposition, "America's overdose crisis is the result of doctors over‐treating patients with opioids." She's a medical doctor and a professor of pharmacology and physiology at Georgetown University Medical Center. She argued that the overdose crisis traces back to pharmaceutical companies convincing doctors that opioids were safe and effective, causing rising rates of addiction.

Jeffrey Singer, a surgeon and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, took the negative. He argued that the rate of overdoses and the rate at which doctors prescribe opioids aren't correlated. The real culprit, he said, was drug prohibition.

This debate was moderated by Soho Forum director Gene Epstein.

Narrated by Nick Gillespie.