WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

Barry Meier: "Pain Killer"

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.

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.


'Better Call Saul' And 'The Great American Dream Machine' Shine As DVD Box Sets

TV critic David Bianculli shares his enthusiasm for two newly released DVD box sets: season one of Better Call Saul and a four-DVD set of the 1970s PBS variety show, The Great American Dream Machine.

Sweet Name Of Kids' Clinic Gives Some People Heartburn

The Krispy Kreme Challenge Children's Specialty Clinic gets its name from a student-run charity race in Raleigh, N.C., that has already raised $1 million for kids. Still, some find the name unhealthy.

60 Years Later, What Can Activists Learn From The Montgomery Bus Boycott?

Decades after Rosa Parks changed history, a new generation faces the challenge of remaking the civil rights movement for the next century. What can they learn from the past to build for the future?

Someday A Helicopter Drone May Fly Over Mars And Help A Rover

NASA is building a 2-pound helicopter drone that would help guide the vehicle on the Red Planet's surface. That way, the rover wouldn't need to wander as much to find its way around.

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