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Opioid Abuse - January 3, 2012

Link to this article: http://www.propublica.org/article/the-champion-of-painkillers


ProPublica December 23, 2011
The news about narcotic painkillers is increasingly dire: Overdoses now kill nearly 15,000 people a year
more than heroin and cocaine combined. In some states, the painkiller death toll exceeds that of car crashes.
The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared the overdoses from opioid drugs like
OxyContin an "epidemic." And a growing group of experts doubts that they work for long-term pain.

But the pills continue to have an influential champion in the American Pain Foundation, which describes itself
as the nation's largest advocacy group for pain patients. Its message: The risk of addiction is overblown, and
the drugs are underused.

What the nonprofit doesn't highlight is the money behind that message.

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