It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic started. Appalachia has been called ground zero for this crisis, and the mountain state leads the country in drug overdose deaths. This episode of Inside Appalachia explores how the epidemic is affecting veterans, who are twice as likely to become addicted to opioids, compared with the general, or civilian, population. So some veterans are trying some alternatives to taking opioids for their chronic pain.
Appalachia is bleeding population; the 2015 U.S. Census showed West Virginia was losing population faster than most other states. There’s a struggle to leave, and to stay.