Barry Meier: "Pain Killer"

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Tom Gjelten
Barry Meier: "Pain Killer"

The use of narcotic painkillers has boomed over the past decade, but a book says new research shows that opioids are often ineffective in treating long-term pain and can have serious health consequences.

The use of narcotic painkillers, or opioids, has boomed over the past decade. Doctors and drug makers have been promoting them for a new use: treating long-term pain from back injuries, arthritis and other health problems. Some patients are greatly helped by painkillers like Percocet, OxyContin and Vicodin. But an award-winning New York Times reporter argues that there is increasing evidence that these drugs, along with being widely abused, are often ineffective in treating long-term pain and can have serious side effects.

Guests

Barry Meier

staff reporter, The New York Times; author of "Pain Killer: A 'Wonder' Drug's Trail of Addiction and Death."

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Read An Excerpt

Excerpt from "Pain Killer: A "Wonder" Drug's Trail of Addiction and Death" by Barry Meier. Copyright 2013 by Barry Meier. Reprinted here by permission of Rodale Books. All rights reserved.

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