Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic - Pages 197 – 246 Summary & Analysis

Sam Quinones
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Summary

In 2000, a pharmacist overseeing workers compensation cases in Washington state named Jaymie Mai began to notice rising trends in opiate overdoses for workers with non-life-threatening injuries like back pain or carpal tunnel syndrome. Delving into the specifics of overdose deaths, Mai spent five years compiling her research, which amounted to “the first time anyone in the country had documented the deaths associated with the new prescribing of opiates for noncancer pain” (205). Mai showed that of the 266 people in the workers comp system who died, 60 were drug related. Of that 60, 44 had died of prescription opiate abuse. Her team brought these findings to Washington’s chief epidemiologist, Jennifer Sabel, asking if these patterns were being seen at the state-wide level. In 2005, Sabel presented her findings: “we’ve had dramatic increases in the numbers of opioid-overdose deaths” (232). Her figures showed a “tidal wave” of opiate dependence, and...

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This section contains 1,248 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic Study Guide
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