For political junkies, it was almost too delicious: conservative Rush Limbaugh and liberal scion Patrick Kennedy, both in the headlines in a single week for drug abuse. Confessed abuser Limbaugh, fingerprinted and mug shot in the Palm Beach county jail. Drug-troubled Kennedy careening through Washington on a wild midnight tear, and checking into rehab.
But for the millions of Americans addicted to or abusing prescription drugs, and their families, there is nothing delicious about the consequences.
The country's flood of off-prescription Vicodin, Oxycontin, Xanax, Ritalin and much more is taking a toll.
This hour On Point: Rush Limbaugh, Patrick Kennedy, and the national tide of prescription drug abuse.
Dr. Howard Markel, George E. Wantz Professor of the History of Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the University of Michigan
Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse
Susan Spencer Wendel, reporter for the Palm Beach Post
Scott McKay, reporter for the Providence Journal
This program aired on May 11, 2006.