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Painful words: How a 1980 letter fueled the opioid epidemic - STAT

Nearly 40 years ago, a respected doctor wrote a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine with some very good news: Out of nearly 40,000 patients given powerful pain drugs in a Boston hospital, only four addictions were documented. Doctors had been ...and more »

How a 5-sentence letter helped fuel the opioid addiction crisis - Los Angeles Times

Close to 200,000 Americans have died by overdosing on prescription painkillers, and a new report traces some of the blame to five simple sentences written nearly 40 years ago. The sentences, containing just 101 words, appeared in a 1980 issue of the ...and more »

How This Doctor's Letter Kicked Off America's Opioid and Heroin Crisis - Daily Beast

Think of it as the most disastrous game of telephone in modern medical history. In 1980, Dr. Hershel Jick at Boston University's School of Medicine wrote a five-sentence Letter to the Editor that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. In ...and more »

A tiny 100-word research article helped start the deadly opioid crisis, Canadian study shows - National Post

The article is a single paragraph long, five sentences and 100 words, the bylines and pair of footnotes taking up almost as much space as the paper itself. But there is new evidence that the curt research “letter” published in 1980 in one of the world ...and more »

Opioid epidemic fuelled by 1 paragraph in journal, doctors say -

A Canadian doctor says a one paragraph letter in a prestigious medical journal was part of a push to convince physicians to prescribe opioids more freely by downplaying addiction risks. The 1980 letter to the editor in the New England Journal of ...and more »

Did This 100-Word Letter Help Spark The Opioid Epidemic? - Forbes

It was only a paragraph long–just 100 words. So short, I'll quote the whole thing. Recently, we examined our current files to determine the incidence of narcotic addiction in 39,946 hospitalized medical patients who were monitored consecutively ...and more »

Origins of opioid epidemic - 13abc Action News

A new report traces how a short letter in a medical journal in 1980 helped sow the seeds of today's opioid epidemic by helping to convince doctors that these powerful painkillers carried less risk of addiction than they actually do. The letter in the ...and more »