How One Letter To The Editor Helped Shape The Course Of The Opioid Epidemic
A letter printed in a 1980 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine has been cited hundreds of times as proof that opioids are not addictive.
Los Angeles Times:
How A 5-Sentence Letter Helped Fuel The Opioid Addiction Crisis
Close to 200,000 Americans have died by overdosing on prescription painkillers, and a new report traces some of the blame to five simple sentences written nearly 40 years ago. The sentences, containing just 101 words, appeared in a 1980 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. They formed a letter to the editor that described a rudimentary analysis of 11,822 hospital patients who took a narcotic painkiller at least once. The vast majority of those patients tolerated the drugs without incident, according to Jane Porter and Dr. Hershel Jick of the Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance Program. (Kaplan, 5/31)