Roughly Speaking

Demystifying the opioid crisis: Myths, misconceptions and misnomers

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Roughly Speaking: Newsroom Edition, episode 8:

Despite increased awareness of the opioid epidemic, the public health crisis continues to ravage communities across the nation. As annual opioid overdose deaths in Maryland have escalated into the thousands, Gov. Larry Hogan became the first governor in the country to declare a state of emergency over the crisis.

A new book published by two Baltimore-based addiction medicine and public health experts suggests that a connection may exist between opioids’ continued havoc and a general misunderstanding of the pandemic — from the language used to describe those afflicted with substance use disorders to the distribution of funds meant to decrease the death toll.

Together, married couple Yngvild Olsen and Joshua Sharfstein wrote “The Opioid Epidemic: What Everyone Needs to Know” to discuss the misconceptions about the opioid crisis and what lawmakers, physicians and citizens can do to address it. They sit down with Baltimore Sun investigative reporter Doug Donovan to review key takeaways from the book.

To find addiction services across the state, go to

To find a support group for people grieving the death of a family member or friend to overdose, go to

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