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In this week’s episode of the “First Opinion Podcast,” science journalist and author Lauren Aguirre talks about a study of soldiers returning from Vietnam whose unexpected results shed light on the nature of addiction and the position of opioids in an array of other widely misused legal and illegal drugs.

“If we were to wipe out opioid use today, we’d still be left with a huge problem,” Aguirre said. “Often people who no longer have access to opioids will come in … and say, if you took my opioids away, I would use something else. So we really have an addiction crisis, not just an opioid crisis. And I think to not really fully accept that and look at the whole picture is a missed opportunity to address this huge public health problem.”

The conversation stems from Aguirre’s First Opinion essay, “Lessons learned — and lost — from a Vietnam-era study of addiction.


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