Episode 13: Opioid Crisis

NASW Social Work Talks Podcast

David Stoecker, LCSW

Opioid addiction has become a public health crisis in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 40% of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved a prescription opioid; at least two-thirds of these were tied to opioids like painkillers, heroin, and fentanyl.

Our guest, David Stoecker, LCSW, is founder and director of Better Life in Recovery. He recommends that we look at the opioid addiction pandemic through a harm-reduction lens, rather than a punitive one. He argues that abstinence is not the only path to recovery and that we need to create healthy communities and to provide recovery support to those who need it.

Published Sept. 18, 2018

Listen to Episode 13

Subscribe to NASW Social Work Talks

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Google Play Music | Get Stitcher | Listen on Spotify

Save the Date

NASW 2018 Virtual Forum

Virtual Forum:
Opioid Crisis: No Community Is Immune

November 14-15, 2018

This live-streamed event will address the opioid crisis from a social work perspective, feature both plenary and breakout sessions, and offer CE credits. 

Watch NASW's social media accounts (and NASW members, watch your inbox) for details.

Opioid Facts from the CDC

Drug overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States:

  • From 1999 to 2016, more than 630,000 people died from a drug overdose.
  • Around 66% of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved an opioid.
  • In 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was 5 times higher than in 1999.
  • On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.


NASW Social Works Podcast

NASW Social Work Talks podcast gives us an opportunity to explore topics that social workers care about and to hear from social work experts and pioneers.

Have a Story Idea?

If you have a topic that you'd like NASW Social Work Talks  to address, or a person in the social work profession you'd like to hear, send an email to media@socialworkers.org.