Written by Jack Miller
The opioid crisis has wrecked the Appalachian region for the past decade. This issue is incredibly complicated and tragic with opium addiction taking a massive toll on poor rural areas along the East Coast. Particularly in the greater Roanoke area as well as West Virginia and Kentucky the crisis has reached terrible heights. A longtime Roanoke native, Beth Macy has written a book, Dopesick, tracking the entire history of the opioid epidemic, from the corporate pharmacies all the way to the local distributor levels. A new series has been created and is currently released on Hulu – dramatizing the events Macy follows in her book.
Understanding the opioid crisis is crucial to understanding the recent increasing poverty and death tolls in rural East Coast states. This incredibly tragic epidemic, while steps have been made, is still rampant and claiming lives of American citizens to this day. If reading is not your forte, the Hulu series sticks relatively close to the issue and paints a vivid picture of the exploitation of innocent victims. On Thursday, December 2nd, Sociology and Public Health professors Dr. Anderson, Dr. Boyd, and Dr. Rapp will be holding a discussion at 5:00 P.M. to help foster a conversation with students driven by empathy and understanding for the victims of this crisis.