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tv   2021 National Book Festival Call-in with Eric Eyre Death in Mud Lick  CSPAN  December 31, 2021 4:34am-5:05am EST

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context of outrage and there should be some semblance of justice and accountability. i don't know that it's enough or will ever be enough but i think that level of engagement does make a difference. >> unfortunately we are out of time, thank you to all of you who have been watching, thank you to both of our extraordinary authors patrick redden keefe and eric cairo i really encourage you all to read their books, they are just terrific and important books. , enjoy the rest of the national book festival. >> you are watching the tv coverage of this year's national book festival you just saw a panel of authors talking about the opioid epidemic in now on your screen is one of the two authors eric eyre death in mud like a fight against the drug
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companies that deliver the open weight epidemic. if you would like to call in and participate in this conversation from what you heard in the last hour 202 is area code 748-8200 and those of you in the east and central time zone (202)748-8201 and those in the mountain and pacific time zones the third line for text messages only, please include your first name intercity (202)748-8903 is a text message number and we would especially like to hear from you if you had involvement in the opioid epidemic. at some level. eric eyre how unique is mud lick west virginia and what happened to it? >> it is a really small community there is about 30 residents outlive their and to show you how small it is, it
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took me a while to figure out how to spell it i heard mud lick is one word in mud lick as two words and i actually had to call the sheriff's office in wayne county to figure out exactly how to spell it and she says it's two words but don't worry there's only 30 people that live there and they won't be reading your book. it's a typical hollow and west virginia and between the mountains, that is where the overdose that started this whole story and this all occurred with the overdose on oxycontin it's very small and very rural. >> at one point did 12 million oxycontin arrived in the count of 30 residents reads alert?
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>> it really raised alerts we had to go to court to unseal some documents, there was a modified complaint that was filed in circuit court in a case of the distributors, west virginia versus the drug distributors and these are companies that shift onto chip opioids from factories like purdue pharma to a pharmacy. this whole case hidden away from the public and when we ultimately prevailed in court we started seeing gargantuan numbers how is it possible in three years as a community neared mud lick could absorb or have use for 12 million opioid it was impossible what was
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happening people were driving from all over from kentucky from ohio from north carolina, even as far away as florida to come authors eric eyre death in mud like a fight against the temporarily rich from this? guest: there was a number of doctors and pharmacist but this pharmacist here in a town of 387 people he was making close to $7 million per year at a tiny pharmacy this is not the size of a rite aid or a walgreens these are shoeboxes of pharmacies, he is weakening close to $7 million a year other pharmacist in the same boat and then the cash only pill mill ran by doctors were
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also making millions as well. >> are these pharmacist and doctors in prison now? >> many have served time, not all that many have served time in the case of the current pharmacist the prosecutors requested he only serve probation but the judge in the case overruled the prosecutors and gave him six-month in prison. but believe it or not some of the stuff that happened eight years ago they are still pursuing and there are a couple that have charges pending, indictments pending in federal court where the stuff went on close to a decade ago. >> the pulitzer prize for investigative reporting for his work in investigating the opioid epidemic in west virginia, he is a reporter with the charleston
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male in the author of this book death in mud lick a coal country fight against the drug companies that deliver the opioid epidemic and now to your calls john in arkansas, please go ahead with your question or comment. >> is there reason why the large pharmacy changed like walmart, cvs, walgreens and someone were not so much involved in this matter. >> that is a great question we did not see that in west virginia as a matter of fact the larger pharmacies in the walmarts in kroger pharmacies, that the supermarket chain here in the rite aid in walgreens and cvs but the most part we did a pretty good job of policing this and cutting off people that were
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obviously bringing in bogus prescriptions but that doesn't seem to be the case nationwide there is currently a child that just started earlier this week in ohio between the cities and towns across the country as part of a consolidated mdl and cleveland were a number of cases have been consolidated or going toe to to with the pharmacy chains right now saying that they contributed to the opioid epidemic. in west virginia i have to say you have a situation we have an independent pharmacy, family pharmacy distributing 30000 oxycontin pills or hydrocodone for a month and down the street two blocks away there would be a walgreens that was to shooting
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1000 oxycontin or hydrocodone a-month, it's very different in assisting pharmacy with more money and a lot more at stake. host: is hydrocodone and oxycontin still being manufactured for those who have real needs? >> yes there still being manufactured and the numbers have been driven down considerably probably half of the amount it was a decade ago there has been a lot of education going on in a perforation of both oxycontin and hydrocodone but yes they are still available and being
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prescribed. host: andrew in oklahoma, you are on booktv with eric eyre were talking opioid epidemic. caller: yes, sir, pertain to what he just said as the third prescriber through several states at the time, my question even though legally they brought up in the case how can they not make any more clear if the fda was told to tell doctors a certain thing that this drug was okay when it wasn't in addiction wasn't it and starting this medication and 92 and in the long run dealing with addiction and above their way to nursing homes and continuous pain.
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in the things that you losing your life taking a medication year in and year out let changes your personality with your family and you can't ever get that back. host: how long greed taking oxycontin and how did you get started. caller: and 92 working in the oil field and my brother and family members that needed the same type of lifting ahead back problems and i got started with it and i didn't see it wrong sometimes i would be out of my home state for several months and therefore i did pick it up at several different pharmacies from the ones we are talking about. but i never realized how deep i was getting into addiction and
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addiction personality, when i retired i found out i was also adhd which doubles that, there are so many things that come into play that you blame yourself for all of it. host: very quickly were you able to get off the pills, what was the process like and did you ever end up having to sell. >> that is also that something that you start have to be weaned off to those process were not there from 92 - 2000 and almost my whole life. host: thank you eric eyre what you stated that.
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guest: congratulations for being in recovery and no it's very difficult and people say before they fully recover and they never fully recover there is always a chance i relapse, i agree with you everybody that has a self infused disorder opioid use disorder the one thing i hear from everybody and hijacked your brain you are not the same person and it affects everybody around you, families, and created a foster care crisis because parents, children have passed on, grandparents raising children, that is another big issue, it is a very tough thing and you should be congratulating their ways to combat this
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disease sobotka is one of them, you mentioned they give you suboxone, the program that i find to be the most successful combine that with group therapy, individualized therapy, counseling, those types of things when you combine the two is successful then if you just walk in and get a strip of suboxone you have to have the mental health component to. host: we are talking with author eric eyre, death in mud lick against the drug companies that delivered the opioid epidemic in the poet surprise for his work at charleston for his work in looking into the opioid epidemic
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202 is the area code if you would like to participate in a conversation this afternoon 748-8200 for those of you in the eastern time zones 202-74-8801 if you live in mountain pacific and pacific time zones a separate line for text messages to 027-48-8903. mary is in jackson michigan, mary, good afternoon. .caller: good afternoon as a social worker and chaplain at the hospital i see this all the time my question to you at a local level would it be smarter to pay attention to mayors and other working elements base level to bring us to their attention and keep focusing and then the higher levels with legislation, how about using the
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legislatures to get our message for the situation which has to be a horrific mess in all of this. host: how widespread have you seen the issue in jackson michigan. >> into every economic level everyone and of course covid has taken a bigger toll and we've done work with bringing information to the people on the street in all of our policemen know how to identify and they know how to use nor calm. host: how readily available are these pills. >> hard to tell our homeless situation is getting worse. host: thank you, ma'am. eric eyre questioning. guest: sure first of all the
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addiction epidemic has shifted it is more of the number one killer and illegal thought no more hard fat no the pill problem is top 25% of all overdose deaths in the country. and what mary said with impact on covid in the opioid crisis is exactly right last year in 2020 in west virginia and frankly nationwide, nationwide at 34% increase in drug overdose death in west virginia 50% increase in all-time high for drug overdose death in 2020, in particular the month of may, june, july, 2020
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they were off the charts, we are getting close to 1300 overdose deaths county for 2020. the good news they have been able to reduce the numbers and 2021 they are down significantly this would mirror pattern we have seen of a decrease in drug overdose deaths to two years prior to the pandemic, that's a good sign there is some great models out there of course as mary mentioned that and she could buy any pharmacy and harm reduction programs and 70
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organizes it and at the forefront of that with the epicenter in the opioid epidemic. there are some positive signs and as i mentioned earlier legislation has passed so you don't wind up with somebody getting a tooth pulled and getting 300 doses of oxycontin. it is definitely an ongoing problem in the situation seems to be the reduction programs and get people importuning many of the cities here and it's a syringe exchange program and that type of thing and they put some onerous rules together and we are seeing some of the
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programs that are closing down, that is unfortunate, the good news is it seems to be trending downward in terms of the drug overdose deaths. host: howard is in new york, good afternoon jan with author eric eyre. caller: thank you very much today's my 74th it's an honor to be on this program. i work in the health field i am from queens, new york no personal experience but i'm curious we've heard about joe manchin so much in the news and i've seen the west virginia governor, what role did the governor and the senators play. >> eyman rn i've been working in the school but i worked with hospitals in the past but mostly
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in the public and private schools. have you seen the opioid epidemic in queens, new york. caller: not really, i have a 22-year-old i'm a divorced dad and he lived in a village for a while, you could buy almost anything in the streets, i no personal experience but i find this program extremely helpful. host: eric eyre back to his question about the politician. guest: he is the man of the hour right now with kyrsten sinema in arizona. joe manchin i have to say has been a pretty good job on the opioid front there was a new opioid develop called terminal and it's very strong and is still available today, i know because my mom was prescribed it and it made her feel awful and i
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told her to stop it. the schedule and the restrictions he was an adamant supporter of the we got this infrastructure bill with a talk on the airwaves either is been a strong advocate for anything related curbing substance abuse
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disorders in helping bring money to the state for treatment. host: i want to go back to mary in jackson, she said she is seeing it along all socioeconomic lines from top to bottom. i think that was mary in jackson that said that. guest: yeah, here in west virginia we all know somebody that has died of a drug overdose and that means kids of doctors and mayors and kids of lawyers down to people that aren't as fortunate. it does not discriminate by how much money you make, this is something the thing that really
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hits home, within one family you can have multiple people die with a drug overdose. it can be a sister and her brother, mother, son, it is so pervasive. host: kathy in lawrenceville georgia, go ahead. caller: good afternoon. i have a question in a comic, my, i totally emphasize every person who has addiction i have in my immediate family, more than one. but the people like me who have chronic illnesses that are never ever going to go away, i go to a hospital for ten plus years and it is very scrutinized. in the past year i use a fentanyl patch and then for
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breakthrough pain i have oxycodone tabs. but now i have seen my dough shoots from 100 milligrams on the patch down to 25 and i have problems walking with the pain i can't sleep without pain. the people who have true chronic pain had been sent to hell in a handbasket we have no recourse out of legislation everything can help i just don't like it when people with true pain get ostracized in my question would be what are we to do. host: kathy, would you consider yourself addicted to these prescribed painkillers? caller: quite a bit but psychologically no. i went for many, many years and made it through the pain but my decisions have gotten so bad
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it's almost impossible when i'm not like to take any, absolutely. but then i'm bedbound. host: thank you for sharing your story with us. pete: there's a lot of talk about that my suggestion would be to ask your doctor about alternatives, first off nobody saying for cancer end-of-life treatment that somebody should be given opioid, chronic pain is a difficult situation, they are trying to push people to the alternative like ibuprofen or tylenol or a topical which sounds like you have the legal fentanyl patch, everybody knows that in the topical solution, lidocaine, there is different
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alternatives, different drugs depending on what type of pain, depending on back pain fibromyalgia and prop for opioid prescribing that layout a list and try to help doctors find different solutions and opioids. the problem with oxycontin, overtime you have to increase in order to get the relief you have to increase dosage over and over again to the point that you may find yourself addicted, not everybody becomes addicted but many do. i will look at alternatives like acupuncture, massage and check out their website they have a
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complete list of all of these alternatives in the point that they make depending on what kind of pain what is the medicine that will work on that particular type of pain. host: robert in california, we have one minute left. go ahead . . . >> that's robert in california.
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eric, last word. >> it's widely believed that the pharma were the trigger that -- that started off this opioid epidemic. i don't know what happened in california, but here in west virginia we had, you know, hundreds if not thousands of sales reps descended on our state from pharma and convinced or persuaded doctors to start prescribing objection cotton and it's created one of the biggest health crisis in -- in west virginia history and in u.s. history. that's all i'm going to say about that? >> eric is the author of this book, deaf in mud lick. he has been our guest on book tv. mr. eyre, thank you for your time. >> thank you very much for having me on, i appreciate it. >> and you're watching book tv. this is our coverage of this year's national book festival
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and that coverage continues a f
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chicago continues. >> good afternoon. welcome to the 36th annual

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