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The Opioid Crisis Explained

The overdose crisis is now one of America’s biggest killers, with misuse of opioids as the main driver of deaths. Social challenges of the last decade, from the financial crisis of 2008 to the COVID-19 epidemic, saw the spread of stronger synthetic opioids like fentanyl and the incapacity of the war on drugs to protect people.

But how did we get here and what can be done?

In this animation we explore the root causes of the problem and how the de-escalation of the war on drugs, based on global evidence, to find a better path forward.

This animation has been created by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a group of prominent business, political and economic leaders from around the world, to inspire a more effective and lifesaving response to the opioid crisis in the United States.