Officials say the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts is causing close to four overdose deaths in this state every day.
The U.S. Senate this week is expected to consider a bill to help address the crisis, and on Friday, Sen. Ed Markey visited a treatment center in Roxbury, where he blamed the epidemic on pharmaceutical companies and the over-prescribing of painkillers like Oxycontin.
"From a molecular perspective, Oxycontin is very similar to heroin," Markey said. "80 percent of all of the people who have died from heroin overdoses began on prescription opioid drugs."
Dr. Peter Grinspoon never made the leap from pills to heroin. But when the police arrived at his Boston office in 2005 to confront him about falsifying prescriptions for narcotics — he was forced to confront his substance use.
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